A tap-in by history-making youngster, Kylian Mbappe, helped France overcome an impressive Peru team who deserved to earn a draw from the encounter. In a match of two halves, France dominated the first while the second belonged to the Peruvians.
Didier Deschamp’s France team should have taken the lead under twenty minutes, but Pogba’s speculative effort from 30 yards out went inches wide of Pedro Gallese’s right-hand post, while Kylian Mbappe attempt to win a penalty did not impress UAE referee, Mohammed Abdulla Hassan.
In a half Pogba bossed and Kante had the highest tackles and interceptions, Les Blues took the lead on 34 minutes through their teenage sensation, Mbappe.
France won the ball deep in Peru’s half through Pogba who played Olivier Giroud through, and the Chelsea striker’s low shot was saved by Pedro Gallese, but the ball fell nicely for Mbappe who slot into an unguarded net to become the first teenager in history to score for France at either the World Cup or European Championships.
Undeterred, the South Americans went so close to equalizing five minutes into the second half, striker Pedro Aquino’s tremendous shot from 30 yards out hit the woodwork with Hugo Lloris well beaten.
Los Incas dominated their more illustrious European opponent up till the 80 minute, but wide shots from Carillo and Cuevas was all they could show for their impressive effort against Pogba and Co. Who looked ordinary.
However, substitute, Ousmane Dembele should have put the game to rest towards the end, the Barcelona winger’s low shot from Matuidi’s knockdown going inches wide of the left post. The 1998 World Cup winners held on to qualify for the last 16, bundling out Peru in the process, much to the anguish of their passionate supporters.
Photo credit: FIFA