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France secure last 16 spot

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Peru at Ekaterinburg Arena on June 21, 2018 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

France progressed to the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup after defeating Peru 1-0 at the Ekaterinburg Arena on Thursday.

Antoine Griezmann should have opened the scoring for Les Bleus in the first 10 minute after latching onto a loose ball, but his strike hit the side-netting.

Peru, meanwhile, were combining well going forward but they could not penetrate the French defence and were restricted to efforts from distance.

Paolo Guerrero almost got the breakthrough for Los Incas in the 31st minute but France shot-stopper Hugo Lloris showed good reflexes to keep out the striker’s effort.

Four minutes later, Peru were then caught on the counter-attack as Kylian Mbappe broke the deadlock for Les Bleus, netting into an open net following a ricochet from Olivier Giroud’s strike, 1-0.

Didier Deschamps’ charges went into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.

Pedro Aquino almost restored parity four minutes after the break with a thumping strike from range that crashed against the post with Lloris well beaten.

France were reluctant to attack with numbers going forward, which left Giroud and Griezmann isolated up front for most of the second stanza.

Peru were dominating with 20 minutes remaining and forced Les Bleus to backpedal into their own half but they were lacking a final ball.

Nevertheless, Les Bleus managed to hold on in the closing stages of the half to secure three points that secures them a spot in the next round, while Peru have been eliminated after successive losses. –