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World Cup Group C

21 June 2018

France qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Peru in Yekaterinburg on Thursday.

Peru's coach Ricardo Gareca gives a press conference, on June 20, 2018 in Ekaterinburg, on the eve of the team's second match as part of Russian Federation 2018 World Cup football tournament. The 19-year-old became the youngest French player to score in a World Cup game when he tapped in this Paul Pogba pass into the back of the net in the first half.

The race to the top of Group C continues on Thursday morning as group-favorite France takes on Peru.

But despite late calls from the Peru bench to pile everyone forward with every attack and set-piece, they could not find their way through as France squeezed through into the last 16 with another unconvincing performance.

Peru need to beat the strongly fancied French in Yekaterinburg in their Group C encounter or face an early exit from Russian Federation.

France's forward Kylian Mbappe (second right) celebrates his goal with teammates during their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group C match against Peru at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 21, 2018. France captain Lloris, making his 100th appearance for his country, was a bystander for long periods.

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Antoine Griezmann had France's first chance but his shot from Olivier Giroud's lay-off went wide. Pogba crunched into a challenge as the South Americans tried to relieve themselves of building French pressure, winning possession and then setting up Giroud for a shot at goal.

Having come close to taking the lead Peru were behind 10 minutes before the break with Mbappe scoring from close range.

France: Lloris (6), Pavard (6), Varane (6), Umtiti (7), Hernandez (7), Kante (7), Pogba (7), Mbappe (7), Griezmann (6), Matuidi (6), Giroud (7). When his shot was half-blocked by Miguel Trauco it ballooned up over the keeper for Mbappe to finish.

As in the first half, Peru made the better start to the second and midfielder Pedro Aquino arrowed a long-distance rocket onto Lloris's upright.

The changes seemed to be working and Aquino hit the crossbar.

Andre Carrillo fired over soon after the hour, with Guerrero doing the same as France were forced deeper, and with a quarter of an hour to go a Carrillo cross was turned into the side-netting by the stretching Farfan. Same goes for Nabil Fekir who came on for Ousmane Dembele.

World Cup Group C