Kylian Mbappe became France’s youngest-ever World Cup goalscorer as his winner at the Ekaterinburg Arena knocked Peru out of the tournament on Thursday.
- France 1 Peru 0
- Gallese denies Griezmann on half-volley
- Lloris on hand to keep out Guerrero
- Mbappe (34′) opens scoring with tap-in
- Aquino denied by woodwork in second half
Mbappe read the situation when Olivier Giroud’s deflected shot looped over the keeper’s head to provide the 19-year-old with a simple tap-in on 34 minutes.
Didier Deschamps’ side survived pressure from Los Incas in the second half to secure their passage to the round of 16.
Peru made a lively start in Yekaterinburg and Yoshimar Yotun looked to catch Hugo Lloris off his line in the sixth minute, but the midfielder’s ambitious effort from nearly 40 yards out sailed well over the crossbar.
France created the better chances, though, as they took control of proceedings. Antoine Griezmann got in behind the defence on 11 minutes after the ball broke kindly for him from a deflection, but the forward blazed high and wide of the near post from eight yards out on the right.
Paul Pogba wasn’t far away from breaking the deadlock moments later when he lined up a shot from 25 yards out that bounced agonisingly wide of the left post, while Raphael Varane directed a 14th-minute corner just wide of the right post with a towering header.
Pedro Gallese was called into action for the first time two minutes later as he stopped Griezmann’s half-volley from the edge of the box following Giroud’s knockdown, before Edison Flores dragged a first-time shot well wide of the right post from 20 yards out at the other end on 24 minutes.
Los Incas’ best opening arrived seven minutes later when Paolo Guerrero collected Christian Cueva’s square pass and went past Samuel Umtiti with a neat first touch inside the box before forcing Lloris into a sharp save from 10 yards out.
A delightful diagonal ball from Pogba presented an opportunity for Mbappe on 33 minutes, but Gallese was alert to the danger and saved the forward’s flick.
Pogba had a big hand in the opener a minute later as he won back possession in midfield before playing in Giroud, whose shot looped towards goal after taking a deflection off Alberto Rodriguez and Mbappe was on hand to tap into an open net from close range.
The French threatened again on 43 minutes following good build-up play, which led to Lucas Hernandez testing Gallese from a tight angle on the left and hitting the rebound past the far post.
Ricardo Gareca’s men looked more dangerous in the second half and they were unfortunate not to equalise on 50 minutes. Substitute Jefferson Farfan laid the ball off for Pedro Aquino, whose venomous first-time strike from 22 yards out clipped the frame of the goal with Lloris beaten.
But they weren’t working the Tottenham keeper enough as Andre Carrillo cleared the bar from 22 yards out on 61 minutes, before Luis Advincula cut in from the right and lashed an effort narrowly over the target from just outside the area seven minutes later.
Substitute Ousmane Dembele should perhaps have done better when he fired wide of the right post from 17 yards out in the 82nd minute, while Peru’s final hope saw Guerrero hit a tame free-kick straight at Lloris from 30 yards out with two minutes remaining.