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Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Switzerland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Switzerland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Mexico World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Mexico's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group F challengers. Mexico's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul) Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (Club America), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Miguel Layun (Sevilla) Midfielders: Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Jesus Corona (Porto), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Hirving Lozano (PSV) Mexico's World Cup 2018 fixtures Germany: Sunday, June 17 at 4pm South Korea: Saturday, June 23 at 4pm Sweden: Wednesday, June 27 at 3pm What odds are Mexico to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Mexico's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Unconventional Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio, nickname El Recreacionista (The Recreationist). Studied at uni in Liverpool where he rented a flat near Melwood so he could spy on training sessions. Who's the star? Andrés Guardado, the skipper, is vastly experienced with 138 caps and El Tri are hoping that he can shake off injury to take up his command post in the centre of the park. Andres Guardado, who has racked up 138 caps Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Experience, and consistency. Regulars in the knockout stages, having reached the last 16 in the last six World Cups. Worst thing about them Javier Hernandez is a fine marksman but the team can struggle to break teams down and create chances for him, as seen in recent 0-0 with Wales. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… Forward Carlos Vela, a fringe performer at Arsenal and then later with West Brom, currently playing in Los Angeles. Cameramen will be picking out… Hirving Lozano, a young winger with tons of talent and the nickname of Chucky. Currently at PSV, and surely a Premier League candidate. Fans' favourite chant “Puto!” A vile homophobic slur at opposing players. An enterprising beer company back home has encouraged fans to instead switch the chant to “Putin!” On-field prediction Second in the group, out to Brazil in last 16. Off-field prediction Fun fans. Not afraid to keep it simple with a comedy sombrero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Serbia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Serbia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Peru endure heartbreak on return to biggest stage as Denmark get World Cup off to a winning start
Yussuf Poulsen made up for conceding a penalty by scoring the decisive goal for Denmark in their Group C victory over Peru at the Mordovia Arena. Christian Cueva had ballooned the penalty – awarded after VAR consultation – over the bar just before half-time in the most glaring of several misses from the Latin American side, who were back in the World Cup finals after a gap of 36 years. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the pivotal moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defence for Poulsen to beat advancing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 59th minute. With France firm favourites to top the group and having picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Australia earlier, both Peru and Denmark were desperate for victory to boost their chances of advancing to the next stage. Both teams arrived in Saransk with an identical 15-match unbeaten run and it appeared to be a matter of time before a bright-looking Peru, egged on by massive support at the stadium, would score. By contrast, Denmark started by playing long balls directed at their wingers to take advantage of their superior height, but mostly ended up playing catch-up to Peru’s slick short passing game for the opening half hour. Peru, who left out all-time top-scorer Paolo Guerrero from their starting line-up, were awarded a penalty after consultation with the video assistant referee for Poulsen’s foul. Yet Cueva struck an awful penalty, leaving the red-and-white clad Peru fans distraught. Guerrero came on after the hour mark and almost scored an equaliser but his header flew straight into the hands of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The marksman also came close when his audacious backheel trickled past a helpless Schmeichel and the post as Peru continued to be denied an equaliser. Match details Peru: Gallese (Veracruz); Advincula (Tigres), Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Ramos (Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz), Trauco (Flamengo), Tapia (Feyenoord), Yotun (Orlando City), Carrillo (Benfica), Cueva (Sao Paulo), Flores (Aalborg), Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow). Booked: Tapia. Subs: Guerrero (Flamengo, for Flores 62), Ruidiaz (Morella, for Ruidiaz 85), Aquino (Leon, for Tapia 87). Denmark: Schmeichel (Leicester); Dalsgaard (Brentford), Kjaer (Sevilla), Christensen (Chelsea), Larsen (Udinese), Kvist (Copenhagen), Eriksen (Tottenham), Delaney (Werder Bremen), Poulsen (RB Leipzig), N Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Sisto (Celta Vigo). Booked: Delaney, Poulsen. Subs: Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, for Sisto 67), Schone (Ajax, for Kvist 36), Mathias Zanka Jorgensen (Feyenoord, for Christensen 81). Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia). 7:23PM More football If you thought it stopped there, you were mistaken. Head over to our live coverage of Croatia vs Nigeria. That's all from me. 7:10PM Peru impressive Peru played well, but all too often they struggle with the scoring part. We saw that against New Zealand in the play-offs. Different match had they put away the penalty at the end of the first half, but that's football. Another great game in Russia. 7:03PM Group C as it stands 6:57PM All about Poulsen THE MAN.#ForDanmark#WorldCup#PERDENpic.twitter.com/yW2NyWRiaw— Fodboldlandsholdene (@dbulandshold) June 16, 2018 6:56PM FULL TIME - Peru 0 Denmark 1 The Peru players fall to the floor with their heads in their hands. This was more than just a group match, this was 38 years of waiting and it could've been very different. And now they must face France, and hope they are still rubbish. Cueva looks absolutely devastated. One unbeaten run comes to an end, the other continues. That's 16 unbeaten now for Denmark, and Schmeichel looked worth it. 6:53PM 95 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Final throw... 6:52PM 92 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru don't deserve to lose this, but Denmark have been very good at stifling them since going 1-0 up. Poulsen picks up a yellow card with a professional foul. 6:50PM Fans feeling it now Peru fans watch the World Cup in Lima Credit: GUADALUPE PARDO/Reuters 6:49PM 90 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Jorgensen breaks, then falls down. How is he on the winning side? Cueva breaks but gets cut out. For all Peru's pace their decision making in attack leaves much to be desired. 5 mins added. FIVE. 6:46PM 87 min - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Tapia makes way. Pedro Aquino on. Attacking sub. Kitchen sinks everywhere. 6:45PM 86 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Eriksen with a huge chance. Delaney with a yellow. It's all kicking off. Shots shots shots Peru vs Denmark shots on goal 6:44PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Raul Ruidiaz comes on for Farfan. Electric player. Can he force a goal? 6:43PM 85 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Great save! Carillo cuts back for Farfan who looks for all the world like an equaliser. Schmeichel again with the save. 6:42PM 84 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Brilliant block from Advincula as Jorgensen has a golden opportunity to seal it. Peru leaving themselves open as they go in search of an equaliser. Time running out now. 6:40PM 81 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution Andres Christensen comes off for Huddersfield's Mathias Jorgensen. Big blow for Denmark as he looks injured. All set up for a big finale. 6:38PM 79 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GUERRREE-NOOOOO It's scrappy as you like in the 6 yard box, and Guerrero finds space for a backheel. Schmeichel is beaten but it slips just wide. So close. Guerrero showing his class. 6:34PM Poulsen goal currently winning it for Denmark Peru vs Denmark 6:32PM 74 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Suddenly Denmark have a corner. It hits the first man. Second corner...headed away. 6:30PM 71 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Poulsen is the man at both ends. So close for Guerrero but Poulsen pulls off an excellent defensive header. All Peru now. 6:28PM 69 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 So close to an equaliser. Both Farfan and Carillo just miss out as Rodriguez headers across goal. Peru looking dangerous now, but they need to take one of these chances before Denmark get there act together. 6:26PM 67 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Substitution. Sisto makes way for Martin Braithwaite. 6:23PM 65 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Almost an immediate impact from Guerrero as he has a header saved. This game has picked up again. Can Peru make this momentum count? 6:22PM Cool as you like from Poulsen Such a cool finish from Poulsen Poulsen celebrates Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS 6:21PM 62 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 That's woken Peru up. They may have 30 minutes to save their World Cup. I'm not being dramatic. Flores makes way for Guerrero. 6:20PM 61 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 Peru respond almost immediately as Flores gets a shot in from 12 yards. Great save by Schmeichel. Flores couldn't quite get everything behind it. Guerrero warming up. 6:18PM 59 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 1 GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL Advincula goes adventuring and Denmark have so much space. Eriksen plays in Poulsen down the left and he finds the corner. 6:15PM 56 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark What a mess. What an absolute mess this is. Cueva gets in behind and he has to shoot, but he doesn't. He stalls and stalls until he finds Flores who falls over. There's an offside in there somewhere too. 6:13PM 54 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru fans still in full voice. Peru fans show their support against Denmark Credit: Maja Hitij/Fifa 6:12PM 53 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Eriksen with another free kick in a dangerous position. It's very poor. Barely left the ground and cleared by the first man. 6:10PM 50 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Farfan played through by Cueva but he can't quite get ahead of Christensen. Then at the other end, Eriksen very nearly manages a shot from 10 yards, but Jorgensen's touch towards him was very poor. Honestly Jorgensen. 6:06PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru just rushing to get the ball into Denmark's half, and giving it away far too easily. Sisto finds Jorgensen offside by roughly 9 yards. Does that count as a touch? 6:04PM Christian Cueva in good company Messi missed a pen today, so it can happen to anyone. It actually happens to Messi quite a lot. Players out for the second half. Is Cueva ready? 6:00PM VAR stealing the show This is going to be the VAR World Cup, you just know it. What gesture will the players dream up when they want a VAR check, like the equivalent of waving an imaginary yellow card? At the moment, I think player's are just pointing at the VAR box. Perhaps that'll do? Fine officiating in this match, and you have to say that it was a definite penalty. VAR put to excellent use even if Cueva absolutely roofed it. 5:56PM Danish disappointing Peru vs Denmark shots on goal Denmark have been very ordinary. Peru have dealt well with dead-ball situations, and never looked like conceding. Eriksen's been almost anonymous. He has to do so much more running in this Denmark side than when he plays in North London. Tapia and Yotun are doing a great join keeping him quiet. Denmark striker Jorgensen may as well have stayed at home. Has he touched the ball? 5:52PM Would Guerrero have done better? It's tough to watch, that's a really awful pen. Guerrero watching from the bench must be thinking he would've scored that. Cueva blasts the penalty over the bar Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:49PM Half time. Eriksen with another corner but it comes to nothing, and the ref blows for half time. Peru, who have struggled to create anything in the last half an hour, should be going in 1-0 up. Cueva close to tears. The pressure has got to him there. 5:46PM 47 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Unbelievable. Christian Cueva absolutely skies it. 5:46PM 46 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY MISSED. 5:44PM 45 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 PENALTY PERU. VAR at it again! Here we go 2018! 5:43PM 44 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 VAR moment! Huge VAR moment. Cueva taken down in the area. 5:42PM 41 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's tense. There's a real feeling that whoever wins this will go through. Assuming they both beat Australia and both lose to France. After 36 years of waiting for Peru, does it all come down to one game? Gareca getting worked up on the touchline as Peru let Denmark get another diaganol ball into the box, and Poulsen just misses it for an open goal. Very close. Gareca shouts from the touchline Credit: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters 5:39PM 40 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 And breathe... Eriksen hits the wall and Schone smashes the rebound towards Peru's goal. Well saved by Gallese 5:38PM 38 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Sisto bursts into life and Tapia is forced into a foul. Eriksen will take this one from less than 25 yards... 5:35PM 35 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist off on a stretcher. That escalated quickly. I hope he's okay. Lasse Schone on for Kvist as Denmark are forced into an early substitution. Kvist heads off on a stretcher Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP 5:33PM 34 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark down to ten men as they sort a substitution out. Peru's early tenacity has subsided a little, and this game is taking place almost entirely in the middle third. 5:32PM 33 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Kvist is down. It's another knee, this time to the ribs. That's two knees now, and both from Farfan. He's 33! Give him a break. Then again, so is Ronaldo... 5:31PM 31 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Guerrero watch. Could he have put that chance away? Christensen looks handy enough to take him I think. Guerrero watches from the bench Credit: Elsa/Getty images Europe 5:29PM 29 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Almost! Carillo finds Farfan clear in the box and it's a brilliant challenge to deny him a shot at goal from 7 yards. 5:28PM 28 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Thomas Delaney with a 25-yard sighter right over the bar. That's Denmark's first shot. Kvist takes a knee to the back, but he's good to carry on. 5:26PM 26 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A few corners for Eriksen. The first is cleared well by Advincula, the second is cleared by Advincula. Advincula looks good. 5:24PM 24 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 A moment to breathe, time for a touch map. Peru playing very much outwide, Denmark playing very much through the middle. No surprise there. Denmark struggling to get into the middle of the final third. Peru vs Denmark 5:21PM 21 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Denmark's Sisto looks handy, and he finds himself 8 yards out before being immediately crowded out by Peru shirts. Comes to nothing and eventually Peru win a free-kick. 5:19PM 18 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva surrounded by Denmark shirts Credit: Barreto/AFP Christian Cueva is Peru's main playmaker, but he's struggling today as Denmark crowd him out every time he gets the ball. Scrappy stuff. 5:16PM 17 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Great tackle from Andreas Christensen, who turns a dangerous Peru attack into a Denmark goal kick with a wonderful sliding tackle. 5:15PM 16 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Rodriguez with a header and it's a bad one. Within seconds we're at the other end of the field. Yes, it was a goal kick, but this game is being played at 100 miles an hour. 5:14PM 15 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru on top now, their pace causing Denmark all sorts of problems. Corner. 5:13PM 13 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 It's all a bit messy, as both sides struggle to find any space in the final third. Peru's Renato Tapia doing well do keep Christian Eriksen occupied. He was exceptional when Peru beat Croatia in March. Didn't let Modric get a look in. CLOSE! Suddenly, Carillo does find space and forces and excellent save from Schmeichel. The goalie knocks it away and no one's there for the rebound. 5:08PM 9 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru midfielder Yotun has the game's first sighter, and it's straight down the throat of Kasper Schmeichel. I had his Dad's photo on my wall as a boy. Runs in the family. 5:06PM 7 mins - Peru 0-0 Denmark The stadium's loud, and it doesn't sound like Danish... 5:04PM 5 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Cueva loses the ball on the edge of the area and it's a dangerous ball from Jorgensen. Delaney can't find his feet and Peru clear. 5:03PM 3 mins - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru with some good early work breaking into the final third. They look up for this. Flores swings a ball in but it comes to nothing. Quick start. 5:00PM We're off! - Peru 0 Denmark 0 Peru get us underway 4:59PM Attacking formations Peru playing 4-3-2-1, expect Guerrero on for Farfan in the second half. Denmark have gone 4-3-3, with Eriksen dead centre. Moments away. 4:53PM Huge moment 61% of Peruvians have never seen their country at a World Cup. That's why there was an earthquake when they qualified. As well as a national holiday. Peru fans enjoy pre-match atmosphere at the Mordovia Arena Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe 4:51PM Denmark manager with some tough choices Danish manager Age Hareide had some difficult decisions to make in choosing his squad. He named a 35-man preliminary squad, deciding to omit Nicklas Bendtner who had a great season at Norweigan side Rosenborg BK. Yes, really. Hareide says he isn't fit. Bendtner says he is. Either way, Danish fans were disappointed as Bendtner's the only striker Denmark have who's proven himself consistently at international level. Yes, really. 30 goals! 4:46PM Cracking atmosphere Stadium slowly filling up with red and white. Looks like Christmas. We kick-off in 15 minutes at the Mordovia Arena World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena 4:42PM In Gareca they trust Guerrero's absence may be explained by the fact that he hasn't been allowed to step on a football field since December. He's had just two games back, and though he notched twice against Saudi Arabia, I think we've all discovered that isn't a big deal. Peruvians are unlikely to attack manager Ricardo Gareca for his decision. The Argentine is basically a hero in Peru, credited with creating their first golden generation since 1975s Copa America winning side. In Gareca they trust. 4:35PM Where will the game be won? Let us know... World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 4:25PM No surprises in the Denmark team Eriksen starts in midfield Denmark, alongside veteran William Kvist. Chelsea's Andreas Christensen is the youngest player in the Denmark squad, but the only player of real quality that they have in that defence. Edison Flores, who barely makes the bench for Danish team Aalborg BK, starts in attack for Peru alongside Jefferson Farfan and Watford's Andre Carillo. 4:14PM Guerrero benched The build up to Peru's World Cup has been all about this man, captain Paolo Guerrero, the nation's all-time top goalscorer who joined up with the Peru squad at the very last minute after a doping ban was lifted. After months of will he won't he, the only Peruvian ever to be nominated for the Balon d'Or is on the bench. Guerrero poses for his Fifa portrait Credit: Lars Baron/Fifa 4:06PM Here come the teams We're half-way through Super Saturday! Next up, we welcome #PER back to the #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/PAFlbO8EGi— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018 After all that fuss, Guerrero's on the bench 3:56PM Group C anyone's guess On paper, this match looked like a second-place decider in Group C. But after watching France labour to a win over Australia earlier today, first place may just be up for grabs. Check out our match report for that one, where VAR very much stole the headlines. 3:45PM Peruvian fans going to great lengths to be in Russia Peruvian fans have generated some excellent hype in the past few days, with over 40,000 making the trip to Russia. One fan, on discovering there were only tickets left for the disabled section, piled on 50 pounds in order to qualify as morbidly obese. Football...it does things to people. Peru fans taking a selfie in Saransk ahead of the match against Denmark Credit: AP/Martin Meissner 3:29PM Two down, two to go What a day of football this is, and what an honour to provide you all with live updates from Peru vs Denmark, which for my money is the best of the lot. I wasn't even nearly born the last time Peru were in a World Cup finals. There last showing came in 1982, whilst Denmark's first World Cup was in 1986. You guessed it, this is the first ever encounter between the two nations, who are remarkably both on FIFTEEN-match unbeaten runs. The sides could not be more closely matched...their flags even have the same colours. Paolo Guerrero celebrates scoring in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela Credit: Federico Parra/AFP There are no easy games in South American World Cup qualification, and Los Incas outscored the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Chile to get here. They even reached 11th on the Fifa rankings, if that means anything at all. They'll certainly want to have a go at Denmark, especially on the wings where they are fiercely quick, but whether they get a result may depend on whether they can keep Christian Eriksen quiet. The dead-ball specialist will look to exploit Peru's diminutive team (one of the smallest in the tournament), by providing excellent service to his countrymen (some of the tallest in the tournament). The Spurs midfielder also scored a whopping 11 goals in qualifying for his country, including a hat-trick against The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. The worry is that if Eriksen fails to get into the game, Denmark have no plan B. If Peru can stop him they have some fine attacking players of their own, all wearing an absolutely wonderful shirt.
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Portugal coach Fernando Santos on how English pioneer shaped his ideas
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Portugal coach Fernando Santos on how English pioneer shaped his ideas
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Which country has the most expensive squad at World Cup 2018?
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Which country has the most expensive squad at World Cup 2018?
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Which country has the most expensive squad at World Cup 2018?
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare
Squad value is a good proxy for the quality of a team, so we've ranked all 32 World Cup countries based on their player's worth in the transfer market to see if it gives any clear indications about who could triumph at Russia 2018. We've used data from Transfermarkt to work out the total estimated transfer value of each member of every 23-man squad in the tournament. This is different to adding up actual transfer fees, but a more accurate way of measuring current worth. For example, Messi has been at Barcelona for his entire career so would count as having no value if you did it that way. Starting XIs change each game, and so a team's value will vary from game to game, but these overall team totals will give you a good estimate for how expensive each team is. So, who do you think has the priciest team in the world? Read on to find out. 32. Panama: Total value £7.4 million With a total value of £7.4 million across their 23 players, Panama are the least valuable team in the World Cup. Panama’s best player is the midfielder Aníbal Godoy. He plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer and is worth an estimated £700,000. Their forward Blas Pérez ranks as the tournament’s joint-third cheapest player. Panama squad value 31. Saudi Arabia: £16.6m You could be forgiven for not having heard of many Saudi Arabia’s 23. All but three of them play their club football in the Saudi Pro League with 16 of them coming from just two clubs: Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal. Their star man - in transfer value terms - is Yasir Al-Shahrani, a winger who plies his trade for Leganés in La Liga. He is valued at the princely sum of £1.3m. While they may be minnows in this list, Saudi Arabia are, at least consistent. They have one of the lowest variations in value across their squad meaning theirs is one with a high level of equality. Saudi Arabia squad value 30. Peru: £33m Peru have been heralded as a potential surprise in this year’s World Cup, but one look at their market value would say otherwise. The South American team ranks 30th in the tournament, at just £33m, with their top man André Carrillo contributing £5.3m of this. You may recognise Carrillo: he played for Watford in the last season, on loan from Benfica. Peru squad value 29. Costa Rica: £36.1m Keylor Navas during England's recent friendly with Costa Rica Credit: Alex Livesey/ Getty Images Europe As Costa Rica proved in 2014, you don’t have to have a squad full of high value superstars to perform well in World Cups. Ranked in a similarly lowly position this year, they’ll be hoping to repeat the trick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas is the Ticos most valuable man, with an estimated worth of £15.8m in today’s transfer market. They also feature serial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell who could make his £2.6m price tag look like a steal. Costa Rica squad value 28. Iran: £41.9m 2018 will mark Iran’s first consecutive World Cup appearance, after they left the 2014 tournament in the group stage. This time round, the team’s total worth tallies up to an estimated £41.9m. Their most valuable player, attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays his domestic football for the Dutch club of AZ Alkmaar. He has an estimated transfer value of £10.6m. Iran squad value 27. Australia: £43.6m Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy is the jewel in the Aussie crown with the midfielder accounting for about a fifth of their total squad value at £8.8m. Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan comes a close second with a value of £7m but no other player surpasses the £5m mark. Australia squad value 26. Tunisia: £51.8m Tunisia will be England’s first opponent as they face each other in the Volgograd Arena on Monday. On paper, there should be no comparison: The Tunisian team totals up a value of £51.8m - some £717.3m less than England’s total value. Midfielder Ellyes Skhiri is the team’s star player, valued at an estimated £8.8m. Tunisia squad values 25. Japan: £64.6m Shinji Kagawa is Japan's MVP Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters Former Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa is Japan’s most expensive talent with a modest value of £11.4m. Aside from the Dortmund attacking midfielder Premier League players Maya Yoshida and Shinji Okazaki make up Japan’s other high-ticket stars. Admittedly, at this point in proceedings “high-ticket” has a different definition than it will later on in this list. Some players - who we’ll meet later on - are individually worth twice the value of Japan’s whole squad. Japan squad value 24. Iceland: £66.9m Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s star man, and is estimated to be worth £26.4m. He makes up almost 40 per cent of the total Icelandic squad’s worth of £66.9m. The island minnows might seem like they can be easily dismissed as a mediocre one-man band, but England’s Euro 2016 team may say otherwise. While Iceland ranks 24 for the overall team’s worth, they rank 19th for the value of their most-valued player. Iceland squad value 23. South Korea: £74.8m South Korea have faded from the global footballing consciousness since they jointly hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan. The majority of their 2018 squad play in either Japan or Korea but they do have a standout player in the former of Tottenham’s Heung-min Son. Valued at £44m he accounts for nearly 60 per cent of his country’s total squad value, the second highest proportion for any player in any team. South Korea squad value 22. Sweden: £105.4m Victor Lindelof is valued at £22m Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt/Getty Images North America Here we are: the first team to break £100m. At an estimated squad value of £105.4m, Sweden rank 22nd in the tournament based on squad value. Their most valued player, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, is valued at £22m - over a fifth of the total squad value. Sweden squad value 21. Morocco: £113.9m What are Morocco doing so high up this list I hear you ask? Well, even at this stage all it takes is a couple of big fish to propel you up the rankings, and Morocco can boast three players worth £20m or more in the spine of their side. Midfielders Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) and Amine Harit (Schalke 04) both come in at £22m while Juventus’ Medhi Benatia is worth £20m. Morocco squad value 20. Nigeria: £118.7m Nigeria put up a spirited game against England in their 2-1 defeat at Wembley last weekend, and they’ve earned praise for their exciting green-and-white striped kit. However, they’re a distinctly mid-table team when it comes to squad value, weighing in at an estimated £118.7m. Perhaps surprisingly for English fans, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi ranks only fifth in the team for transfer value. He is one of five players in the team who are valued over £10m. Wilfred Ndidi claims the top-spot in the team, valued at £22m. Nigeria squad value 19. Mexico: £129.9m Chicharito celebrates with Hirving Lozano Credit: Ian Walton/ Getty Images Europe Mexico can boast an evenly distributed squad of respectable value. There are no huge names in the mix but PSV winger Hirving Lozano could well have the sort of tournament that will send his worth rocketing upwards. He is currently valued at £22m by Transfermarkt, Mexico’s most expensive player. Mexico squad value 18. Russia: £142.4m It’s fair to say that, ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, hosts Russia would struggle to find a place in the World Cup if it wasn’t taking place there. But with a total squad value estimated at £142.4m, Russia’s team is the 18th most expensive in the World Cup. This figure is relatively evenly distributed across the squad, which has five players worth over £10m. Aleksandr Golovin tops the list as Russia’s most valuable player, worth an estimated £15.8m. Russia squad value 17. Egypt: £173.6m Mohamed Salah is Egypt's main man Credit: Patrick Smith/FIFA There’s one stand-out player in Egypt’s team and that man is Mohammed Salah. Valued at £132m (the joint-third highest for any player) he is responsible for more than three-quarters of the worth of the entire squad. Mohamed Elneny is a distant second at £8.8m. Egypt squad value 16. Switzerland: £191.9m With a total value of £191.9m, the Swiss are in the top half of the squads. While eight of their players are estimated to be worth over £10m, Granit Xhaka tops the list, worth £35.2m. Arsenal fans will be well aware of this midfielder, with Xhaka accumulating 70 caps for the North London club. Switzerland squad value 15. Colombia: £221.1m Given their performance at Brazil 2014 it is somewhat surprising that Colombia don't feature higher on this list. This is because they have - in cricketing parlance - quite a long tail. Though they have two or three big names in the squad they also have 13 players who are valued at less than five million pounds. Propelled to fame by his performance in Brazil, James Rodríguez is Colombia's most valuable player. His transfer worth is estimated at £61.6m while Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez is their second most valuable player at £35.2m. Colombia squad value 14. Denmark: £228.2m Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside Christian Eriksen’s £70.4m price tag goes a long way to explain Denmark’s large squad value. Indeed, Denmark’s prospective performance in the tournament will depend a lot on the Tottenham midfielder. The Danish team totals a squad value of £228.2m, with Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen collectively contributing almost half of this. Denmark squad value 13. Serbia: £235.4m The Serbian squad has the honour of featuring one of the most talked about men in world football at the moment in the form of Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. A target for several big Premier League outfits, if you believe the rumours, the midfielder has a transfer value of £79.2m. Milinkovic-Savic's value is supplemented nicely by that of Nemanja Matic (£35.2m), Dusan Tadic (£13.2m) and Luka Milivojevic (£13.2m). Serbia squad value 12. Poland: £241.6m The Polish team clocks in at a total value of £241.6m, with eight players each contributing more than £10m. The Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is estimated to have a market value of £79.2m - a third of the total squad’s value. The country will need a good performance from the Bayern Munich striker in order to progress from a group that also contains Senegal and Colombia. Poland squad value 11. Senegal: £261.6m Senegal's Sadio Mane Credit: Darko Bandic/AP Also vying for one of the top two positions in Group H, Senegal’s squad value beats that of Poland. Liverpool's Sadio Mané takes up 23.5 per cent of the total, at £61.6m but has able support from Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (£52.8m) and Monaco's Keita Baldé (£26.4m). Senegal squad value 10. Croatia: £316.8m Croatia are the tenth most expensive team in the 2018 World Cup, with a squad valued at an estimated £316.8m. The squad is both well-balanced and strong. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia’s most expensive player, has an estimated value of £44m - or 13.9 per cent of the total. 11 other players have a value of over £10m, six of which top £20m. Croatia squad value 9. Uruguay: £327.8m Uruguay are one of the true dark horses in this competition and it's easy to see why, given the depth of talent that they have at their disposal. In Luis Suárez (£61.6m) and Edison Cavani (£52.8m) they have two genuinely top bracket goalscorers while at the back they can rely on Athletico Madrid's centre back pairing of José Giménez (£39.6m) and Diego Godin (£30.8m). An impressive team spine is completed in midfield by potential Arsenal signing Lucas Torreira (£26.4m) and Inter Milan's Matías Vecino (£18.5m). Uruguay squad values 8. Portugal: £408.8m Portugal’s star player needs no introduction. Cristiano Ronaldo is worth an estimated £88m and shoulders a solid fifth of the total squad value of Portugal. Aside from their captain, Portugal also draws on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and Gelson Martins to reach a total squad value of £408.8m. Portugal squad value 7. Argentina: £612.5m Lionel Messi is the joint most valuable player at the World Cup Credit: FIFA/ Michael Regan Despite a recent run of poor form, 2014 finalists Argentina will still fancy their chances in Russia if they can get their glittering forward line firing. They have the seventh highest-value team in the tournament, at an estimate of £612.5m. Their emblematic captain Lionel Messi makes up a quarter of this total, valued at a whopping £158.4m, while Paolo Dybala (£96.8m), Sergio Agüero (£70.4m) and Gonzalo Higuaín (£52.8m) make up the rest of the attacking threat in this top-heavy squad. Argentina squad value 6. Belgium: £663.5m Kevin De Bruyne had a great season with Manchester City Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe With only six players in the Belgian side having an estimated transfer value of less than £10m, their overall value totals £663.5m. The formidable team will face England in the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 28 in what could be a crunch match to decide who tops Group G. The squad’s most expensive players are Kevin De Bruyne (£132m), Eden Hazard (£96.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£79.2m). Belgium squad value 5. England: £769.1m England's captain is their MVP Credit: James Baylis/Getty Images Europe The madness of the Premier League’s spending power generally ensures that English players fetch a premium in the transfer market. This has probably inflated England’s worth here, but let’s savour the Three Lions’ presence within the world’s elite while we can. Harry Kane is England’s highest valued man, with a price tag of £132m, one of only six players at the World Cup whose value extends into nine figures. Dele Alli (£88m) is the second most valuable member of the squad while Raheem Sterling (£79.2m) is in third. England’s least valuable player - Ashley Young (£6.2m) - is the most expensive least valuable player for any nation. England squad value 4. Germany: £777m Real Madrid's Toni Kroos Credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe The current World Cup holders have one of the most equally distributed teams in the tournament, with their top-valued player Toni Kroos only consisting 9.1 per cent of the total squad value. The squad’s value is estimated to be £777m, which makes it the fourth most valuable in the tournament. Alongside Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (valued at £70.4m), Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen (£52.8m) and Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels (£52.8m) also rank as the joint-favourite’s best-valued players. Germany squad value 3. Brazil: £863.3m Neymar will be looking to outplay Messi in Russia Credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters Despite having the joint most expensive at the tournament in Neymar (£158.4m), Brazil’s squad is far more evenly balanced than Argentina’s. Their ten most valuable players include two goalkeepers in Alisson and Ederson, two defenders in Marcelo and Marquinhos and Casemiro, a defensive midfielder, as well as five highly rated attacking players. Brazil squad value 2. Spain: £906.4m Despite their attacking options Barca's Sergio Busquets is Spain's MVP Credit: Jose Jordan/ AFP Spain is one of two teams in the World Cup valued over £900m - or one billion euros. They come in second place in the squad value rankings, clinched by France by a mere £44m. Another favourite of the World Cup, Spain has the most equally distributed team in Russia. The team’s most expensive player, Sergio Busquets, is valued at £70.4 - or just 7.8 per cent of the overall team’s £906.4m value. The winners of the 2010 World Cup can also boast the likes of Real Madrid midfielders Isco and Marco Asensio (each £66m), as well as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea (£61.6m). Spain squad value 1. France: £950.4m France emerge as fairly comfortable winners in these rankings with a total transfer market value less than £50m shy of £1bn. Les Bleus’ array of young talent is formidable. Ten of their squad are valued at in excess of £40m with PSG’s Kylian Mbappé topping the list at £105.6m. Antoine Griezmann (£88m), Paul Pogba (£79.2m) and Ousmane Dembélé (£70.4m) are all also individually worth more than the entire squads of Panama, Saudi Arabia and Peru combined. France squad value How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare