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Mbappe’s strike sends France to knock out round

Yekaterinburg, Thursday, @PeopleSports11

Peru became the latest team to be knocked out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup after Kylian Mbappe’s  goal gave France a 1-0 victory, their second in a row.

Victory gave Les Bleus six points which sees them top Group C after beating Australia 2-1 in the first match while Peru exit the tournament after suffering a second straight loss following a similar 1-0 reverse to Denmark in their opening match.

Chelsea striker Giroud started upfront in the encounter with coach Didier Deschamps dropping Ousmane Dembele.

The 31-year-old was the focal point of the French attack, with starlet Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann playing off him.

The 21-year-old Barcelona man Dembele paid the price for making little impact in France’s stuttering 2-1 victory over Australia in their opener.

Meanwhile, disappointed coach Bert van Marwijk said Australia have to find “the last part of the puzzle” if they are to stay in the World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday. Australia captain Mile Jedinak hit a VAR-assisted penalty to earn the Socceroos’ first point in Russia after Christian Eriksen’s opener, giving Australia a glimmer of hope of reaching the last 16.

Van Marwijk praised a team that has “improved every day” but bemoaned a lack of clinical finishing after his team missed chances to win the game in the second half in Samara.

It followed a 2-1 defeat to France in their opening match.

“We had chances to win and we deserved to win, so I’m disappointed,” the Dutchman said.

“I fully agree we should have won. Against France we also deserved more, I think. We have one point and we deserve four points from these two games.

The last part of the puzzle is that we must make the difference by scoring one goal more than the opponent,” he added.

“I must be satisfied about all the things we asked of (my players). From the first day the team has improved every day and they surprised me today again,” he said.

Australia must beat Peru on Tuesday to have any chance of going further.

In a blow to their hopes, striker Andrew Nabbout looks set to be sidelined for the rest of the World Cup after he injured a shoulder after falling awkwardly.

“I think the tournament is over for him,” van Marwijk said.           -AFP

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