Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen slideshow

What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June - ie today. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia squad Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan squad Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Japan's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Japan's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) Squad, Schedule - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia #footballhttps://t.co/gYocS44u09pic.twitter.com/HTfeLx4YRH— jfa_en (@jfa_en) May 31, 2018 Japan's World Cup 2018 fixtures Colombia: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Japan to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Japan's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Akira Nishino, the former Japan technical director, was parachuted into the job after the abrupt sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic in April. An unknown quantity. Who's the star? Keisuke Honda is still the talisman, and should be happier now Halilhodzic - with whom he had a rocky relationship - is out of the picture. Keisuke Honda in action for Japan Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Should have noisy and loyal support, and will defend stoutly enough. They will have to. Worst thing about them Compared to recent Japan teams, this is a desperately limited squad - one that needed an injury-time equaliser to draw with Haiti last October. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… The two Shinjis - Kagawa and Okazaki - are both familiar faces for Premier League supporters, and the side’s best players. Cameramen will be picking out… Shots of improbably large groups of fans watching giant screens back home. Fans' favourite chant ‘Vamos Nippon’ is a terrace standard, accompanied by manic bouncing and flag-waving. On-field prediction An early exit, leading to shame-faced public apologies from the Japanese equivalents of Martin Glenn and Dan Ashworth. Off-field prediction The team wins the much-coveted ‘Best Bleached Hair’ award. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Japan World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Japan's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Japan's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) Squad, Schedule - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia #footballhttps://t.co/gYocS44u09pic.twitter.com/HTfeLx4YRH— jfa_en (@jfa_en) May 31, 2018 Japan's World Cup 2018 fixtures Colombia: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Japan to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Japan's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Akira Nishino, the former Japan technical director, was parachuted into the job after the abrupt sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic in April. An unknown quantity. Who's the star? Keisuke Honda is still the talisman, and should be happier now Halilhodzic - with whom he had a rocky relationship - is out of the picture. Keisuke Honda in action for Japan Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Should have noisy and loyal support, and will defend stoutly enough. They will have to. Worst thing about them Compared to recent Japan teams, this is a desperately limited squad - one that needed an injury-time equaliser to draw with Haiti last October. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… The two Shinjis - Kagawa and Okazaki - are both familiar faces for Premier League supporters, and the side’s best players. Cameramen will be picking out… Shots of improbably large groups of fans watching giant screens back home. Fans' favourite chant ‘Vamos Nippon’ is a terrace standard, accompanied by manic bouncing and flag-waving. On-field prediction An early exit, leading to shame-faced public apologies from the Japanese equivalents of Martin Glenn and Dan Ashworth. Off-field prediction The team wins the much-coveted ‘Best Bleached Hair’ award. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Japan's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Japan's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) Squad, Schedule - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia #footballhttps://t.co/gYocS44u09pic.twitter.com/HTfeLx4YRH— jfa_en (@jfa_en) May 31, 2018 Japan's World Cup 2018 fixtures Colombia: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Japan to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Japan's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Akira Nishino, the former Japan technical director, was parachuted into the job after the abrupt sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic in April. An unknown quantity. Who's the star? Keisuke Honda is still the talisman, and should be happier now Halilhodzic - with whom he had a rocky relationship - is out of the picture. Keisuke Honda in action for Japan Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Should have noisy and loyal support, and will defend stoutly enough. They will have to. Worst thing about them Compared to recent Japan teams, this is a desperately limited squad - one that needed an injury-time equaliser to draw with Haiti last October. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… The two Shinjis - Kagawa and Okazaki - are both familiar faces for Premier League supporters, and the side’s best players. Cameramen will be picking out… Shots of improbably large groups of fans watching giant screens back home. Fans' favourite chant ‘Vamos Nippon’ is a terrace standard, accompanied by manic bouncing and flag-waving. On-field prediction An early exit, leading to shame-faced public apologies from the Japanese equivalents of Martin Glenn and Dan Ashworth. Off-field prediction The team wins the much-coveted ‘Best Bleached Hair’ award. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Japan World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Japan's 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they're likely to fare in Russia. To read our comprehensive guide simply register with the Telegraph and log in to your account. Japan's World Cup squad - the 23 names 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) Squad, Schedule - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia #footballhttps://t.co/gYocS44u09pic.twitter.com/HTfeLx4YRH— jfa_en (@jfa_en) May 31, 2018 Japan's World Cup 2018 fixtures Colombia: Tuesday, June 19 at 1pm Poland: Sunday, June 24 at 7pm Senegal: Thursday, June 28 at 3pm What odds are Japan to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Japan's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Akira Nishino, the former Japan technical director, was parachuted into the job after the abrupt sacking of Vahid Halilhodzic in April. An unknown quantity. Who's the star? Keisuke Honda is still the talisman, and should be happier now Halilhodzic - with whom he had a rocky relationship - is out of the picture. Keisuke Honda in action for Japan Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Should have noisy and loyal support, and will defend stoutly enough. They will have to. Worst thing about them Compared to recent Japan teams, this is a desperately limited squad - one that needed an injury-time equaliser to draw with Haiti last October. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… The two Shinjis - Kagawa and Okazaki - are both familiar faces for Premier League supporters, and the side’s best players. Cameramen will be picking out… Shots of improbably large groups of fans watching giant screens back home. Fans' favourite chant ‘Vamos Nippon’ is a terrace standard, accompanied by manic bouncing and flag-waving. On-field prediction An early exit, leading to shame-faced public apologies from the Japanese equivalents of Martin Glenn and Dan Ashworth. Off-field prediction The team wins the much-coveted ‘Best Bleached Hair’ award. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Colombia vs Japan: What time is kick-off tomorrow, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This match sees Colombia and Japan make their bow at the World Cup 2018, as Group H - the last of the eight groups, finally gets under way. When is it? Tuesday 19 June. What time is kick-off? 1pm UK time. What TV channel is it on? BBC One. Alternatively, you can follow the match live with us on Telegraph Sport. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? At the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. World Cup 2018 stadium: Mordovia Arena What is the team news? Premier League fans, there are familiar faces on both sides here: Arsenal's David Ospina and Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez will be joining forces to guard the Colombia goal, while Chelsea and Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao will lead the line. Another former Chelsea man in Juan Cuadrado should also start. For Japan, Southampton's Maya Yoshida and Leicester's Shinji Okazaki should both start. Former United man Shinji Kagawa will pull the strings in behind Okazaki. And as well as all of that, the biggest star has yet to be mentioned: 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez will play in behind Falcao. He scored six goals in five games at the last World Cup. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the squads in full: Colombia Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). James Rodriguez will be key for Colombia Credit: AP Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). What's the latest news on the two teams? Earthquake back home adds to Japan's worries Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russia, and news of an earthquake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team. The four-time Asian champions, who also face Senegal and Poland, have undergone a turbulent 10 months since qualifying, culminating in the firing of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, the former Algeria coach, in April after a string of poor results. Japan's players in training on the eve of the game Credit: Getty images Former technical director Akira Nishino, who played as a midfielder for the national side, was named to lead the Samurai Blue in Russia, and has been in charge for just three games in the leadup to the tournament. The team woke up to the news on Monday that Osaka, Japan's second-biggest metropolis, was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in the early hours, killing three people and injuring dozens. "There were players who were a bit shocked by this incident and they were concerned about relatives and family members," Nishino told reporters ahead of Japan's Group H opener at the Mordovia Arena. "They were concerned, so this psychological impact is something I am a bit worried about. But we, the team staff, are consulting with them and hope they will settle down." What are the odds? Colombia win - 8/11 Draw - 13/5 Japan win - 5/1 What's our prediction? Colombia are rightly favourites to win, and although Japan have quality sprinkled across their first team, the South Americans should just have that bit too much star quality. Prediction: Colombia 3 Japan 1 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.
Here we take a look at Denmark's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group C challengers. Denmark's World Cup squad - the 23 names Final squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich). Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo). Forwards: Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax). Denmark's World Cup 2018 fixtures Peru: Saturday, June 16 at 5pm Australia: Thursday, June 21 at 1pm France: Tuesday, June 26 at 3pm What odds are Denmark to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Denmark's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Age Hareide, direct football disciple, played for Manchester City and Norwich in the 1980s, had five years managing his native Norway and took over in 2015. Age Hareide has been in charge since 2015 Credit: Getty Images Who's the star? Christian Eriksen - sometimes taken for granted in England but an £80m-calibre world-class midfield talent, with consummate skill and vision. Best thing about them Strong lower spine and a refreshingly vigorous approach that aims to exploit Eriksen’s eye for a pass and a cute finish. Worst thing about them They lack an international class centre-forward - the chosen ones will work their socks off but leave too much responsibility on Eriksen. You may recognise… In the absence of Lord Bendtner, back in the scoring groove at long last at Rosenborg, but injured, forever gauche and likely to make a twit of himself now and then, you can turn your eyes to Kasper Schmeichel, Premier league champion goalkeeper and scion of a shouty goalkeeping dynasty. Cameramen will be picking out... Hordes clad in horned Viking hats with blonde-plaited pigtail attachments and full-face flags. Fans' favourite chant ‘We are red, we are white, we are Danish Dynamite’ - the remix On-field prediction Close in every game but struggle to find the goals to get them into the knockout stage. Off-field prediction Friends to all, apart from the Swedish, quaint and engagingly exuberant. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Denmark World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Denmark's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group C challengers. Denmark's World Cup squad - the 23 names Final squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich). Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo). Forwards: Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax). Denmark's World Cup 2018 fixtures Peru: Saturday, June 16 at 5pm Australia: Thursday, June 21 at 1pm France: Tuesday, June 26 at 3pm What odds are Denmark to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Denmark's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Age Hareide, direct football disciple, played for Manchester City and Norwich in the 1980s, had five years managing his native Norway and took over in 2015. Age Hareide has been in charge since 2015 Credit: Getty Images Who's the star? Christian Eriksen - sometimes taken for granted in England but an £80m-calibre world-class midfield talent, with consummate skill and vision. Best thing about them Strong lower spine and a refreshingly vigorous approach that aims to exploit Eriksen’s eye for a pass and a cute finish. Worst thing about them They lack an international class centre-forward - the chosen ones will work their socks off but leave too much responsibility on Eriksen. You may recognise… In the absence of Lord Bendtner, back in the scoring groove at long last at Rosenborg, but injured, forever gauche and likely to make a twit of himself now and then, you can turn your eyes to Kasper Schmeichel, Premier league champion goalkeeper and scion of a shouty goalkeeping dynasty. Cameramen will be picking out... Hordes clad in horned Viking hats with blonde-plaited pigtail attachments and full-face flags. Fans' favourite chant ‘We are red, we are white, we are Danish Dynamite’ - the remix On-field prediction Close in every game but struggle to find the goals to get them into the knockout stage. Off-field prediction Friends to all, apart from the Swedish, quaint and engagingly exuberant. 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 Denmark's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group C challengers. Denmark's World Cup squad - the 23 names Final squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich). Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo). Forwards: Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax). Denmark's World Cup 2018 fixtures Peru: Saturday, June 16 at 5pm Australia: Thursday, June 21 at 1pm France: Tuesday, June 26 at 3pm What odds are Denmark to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Denmark's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Age Hareide, direct football disciple, played for Manchester City and Norwich in the 1980s, had five years managing his native Norway and took over in 2015. Age Hareide has been in charge since 2015 Credit: Getty Images Who's the star? Christian Eriksen - sometimes taken for granted in England but an £80m-calibre world-class midfield talent, with consummate skill and vision. Best thing about them Strong lower spine and a refreshingly vigorous approach that aims to exploit Eriksen’s eye for a pass and a cute finish. Worst thing about them They lack an international class centre-forward - the chosen ones will work their socks off but leave too much responsibility on Eriksen. You may recognise… In the absence of Lord Bendtner, back in the scoring groove at long last at Rosenborg, but injured, forever gauche and likely to make a twit of himself now and then, you can turn your eyes to Kasper Schmeichel, Premier league champion goalkeeper and scion of a shouty goalkeeping dynasty. Cameramen will be picking out... Hordes clad in horned Viking hats with blonde-plaited pigtail attachments and full-face flags. Fans' favourite chant ‘We are red, we are white, we are Danish Dynamite’ - the remix On-field prediction Close in every game but struggle to find the goals to get them into the knockout stage. Off-field prediction Friends to all, apart from the Swedish, quaint and engagingly exuberant. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Denmark World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Denmark's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group C challengers. Denmark's World Cup squad - the 23 names Final squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich). Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo). Forwards: Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax). Denmark's World Cup 2018 fixtures Peru: Saturday, June 16 at 5pm Australia: Thursday, June 21 at 1pm France: Tuesday, June 26 at 3pm What odds are Denmark to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Denmark's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Age Hareide, direct football disciple, played for Manchester City and Norwich in the 1980s, had five years managing his native Norway and took over in 2015. Age Hareide has been in charge since 2015 Credit: Getty Images Who's the star? Christian Eriksen - sometimes taken for granted in England but an £80m-calibre world-class midfield talent, with consummate skill and vision. Best thing about them Strong lower spine and a refreshingly vigorous approach that aims to exploit Eriksen’s eye for a pass and a cute finish. Worst thing about them They lack an international class centre-forward - the chosen ones will work their socks off but leave too much responsibility on Eriksen. You may recognise… In the absence of Lord Bendtner, back in the scoring groove at long last at Rosenborg, but injured, forever gauche and likely to make a twit of himself now and then, you can turn your eyes to Kasper Schmeichel, Premier league champion goalkeeper and scion of a shouty goalkeeping dynasty. Cameramen will be picking out... Hordes clad in horned Viking hats with blonde-plaited pigtail attachments and full-face flags. Fans' favourite chant ‘We are red, we are white, we are Danish Dynamite’ - the remix On-field prediction Close in every game but struggle to find the goals to get them into the knockout stage. Off-field prediction Friends to all, apart from the Swedish, quaint and engagingly exuberant. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Sokratis to Arsenal: What type of player is he, why are Arsenal signing him and who could miss out?
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Sokratis to Arsenal: What type of player is he, why are Arsenal signing him and who could miss out?
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Sokratis to Arsenal: What type of player is he, why are Arsenal signing him and who could miss out?
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Sokratis to Arsenal: What type of player is he, why are Arsenal signing him and who could miss out?
Arsenal have reached an agreement to sign Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, their third new arrival of 2018 to have played for the Bundesliga club. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who Arsenal poached from Dortmund, seems to be following the old adage that it is better the devil you know while settling into his new job. Sokratis - as he is known, mercifully - will be the second purchase of the Unai Emery-era. However, Arsenal's buying strategy is no longer determined by the whims of their manager. The club's interest in Sokratis predates Emery's appointment, with Mislintat, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi identifying targets for their new head coach to rubber stamp. So why have this new team of decision-makers settled on Sokratis and what can Arsenal fans expect from their new defender? His career so far... AEK Athens were Sokratis' first professional club in Greece and it was there he learned his trade before a £3.4 million move to Genoa. An impressive first two seasons in Serie A attracted the attention of AC Milan who signed him in 2010 but sold him back to Genoa a year later. After a season on loan in Germany, Werder Bremen completed the permanent signing of Sokratis in 2012 before Dortmund - then managed by Jurgen Klopp - came in for him the following summer. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic were very much ahead in the pecking order, but the 29-year-old began to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel and was a regular in Dortmund's excellent 2015-16 campaign. Since Tuchel's departure, Sokratis has endured some rough patches, though Dortmund as a unit have been beset by defensive problems. Gunnersaurus might be playing this part next season Credit: Reuters What type of defender is he? Very much a front-footed centre-back, Sokratis prefers to win the ball early with robust challenges rather than sprint back with opponents and defend on the back foot. When this approach pays dividends, the burly Sokratis will look the commanding, aggressive centre-back critics have accused Arsenal of lacking. When it does not, he can leave holes in behind him - a worry given the speed of Premier League attacks (particularly against other 'Big Six' opponents). This style of defending has been a recurring theme with Arsenal recruits, with Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi pertinent examples. Arsenal may have attempted to replicate the success of Laurent Koscielny, who perfected a naturally impetuous style to become arguably the league's best one-on-one centre-back before Achilles problems slowed him down. Arsenal also have their own analytics company, StatDNA. It is notoriously difficult to scout defenders using stats. Unlike forwards who have a clear outputs (goals, shots, key passes) that can be measured, defensive value is a more slippery concept. It could be that more active 'impact' defenders who provoke collisions and key events come to the fore in Arsenal's statistical analysis. Just a theory. Sokratis has his flaws then, but is considered to be a strong character who will not be cowed in any confrontation. Unai Emery: what style can Arsenal expect from their new manager? Why have Arsenal bought him? Singing a 29-year-old after a poor season hardly looks a visionary move, but Arsenal are not in a position to wait for a 'Goldilocks' option to emerge. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals and won four of 19 away games last season - it should not take peak Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro to improve on that record. Arsenal's defensive ranks can be split almost entirely into two worrying age categories. Per Mertesacker has retired, Koscielny will be 33 by the time he returns from Achilles surgery (in who knows what state), while Nacho Monreal will be the same age by season's end. 36-year-old Petr Cech, at the time of writing, remains the first-choice goalkeeper. Fine players all, but each have seen more sunsets than they are going to see as professional footballers. Laurent Koscielny tore his Achilles tendon at Atletico Madrid Credit: Getty Images At the other end of the spectrum, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos have all shown varying degrees of promise, but you would not bet the farm on any one of them making the grade. 26-year-old Mustafi should, in theory, be a reliable starter, but doubts persists about both his future and his quality. Mustafi's best games have also been as the central pillar in a back three, the role that extracted the best from the comparable David Luiz, but Emery prefers a back four. Simply put, Arsenal just need a body back there and an experienced defender with 85 caps for Greece could be the man to fill the void while they assess their long-term options. Who could miss out? Sokratis might be three years older than Mustafi, but they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws. Pairing the two aggressive, and at times rash, defenders together could be a recipe for disaster. With Arsenal also in the market for another defender, one of Mavropanos or Holding might be shipped out on loan to gain regular minutes. Chambers has already had his season-long loan, at Middlesbrough in 2016-17, so may stay around to challenge for a starting spot. Overall, Emery's ability to instill a clear and repeatable defensive strategy will be more important to Arsenal's prospects than the fate of any one individual. With a structure that hides their weaknesses rather than exacerbates them, there remains the chance that any of the aforementioned names could thrive in the new set-up.
Arsenal have reached an agreement on a £16 million deal to make Sokratis Papastathopoulos their second summer signing under new manager Unai Emery, but his arrival from Borussia Dortmund will not be officially announced until next month. After already bringing in Stephan Lichsteiner from Juventus earlier this week on a free transfer, Sokratis is the second experienced defender that Emery will add to a squad that has lost Per Mertesacker and which will be without Laurent Koscielny at the start of next season. Sokratis, who is 29 and had one year left on his contract in Germany, has made 79 appearances for Greece and had played for Dortmund since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. He previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan and is likely to go straight into Emery's starting team. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will also be the third player who worked previously with Arsenal's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Dortmund. Aged 34, Lichsteiner will also add experience to Arsenal's back line and, with Champions League qualification the big target next season, the signings do seem to represent a continuation of the January transfer policy which committed considerable wages to proven players who will have only limited sell-on value. Sokratis is expected to agree a three-year deal. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (left) challenges Latif Blessing Credit: ap Arsenal do still want to blend the squad with emerging young talents and, while discussions are still at an early stage, they are interested in 17-year-old Paris St Germain midfielder Yacine Adli. He has been capped in various international age groups by France and was given his senior debut at PSG by Emery, where he has not signed a professional contract. Midfield is another transfer priority for Arsenal but the strategy in this area will be largely framed by contract talks with Aaron Ramsey. Emery is hoping to commit a significant part of what is a limited budget this summer to making the Wales midfielder one of the pillars of his new team. Arsenal have already offered Ramsey a significant pay-rise on his current deal of just over £100,000 a week but, in the current market, he could realistically expect a contract approaching £200,000 a week. The calculation for Arsenal is whether they could hope to find a comparable quality replacement and the signs are so far positive that Ramsey will agree an improved extension on a deal that expires next summer. Jack Wilshere is also still deciding whether or not to stay and, with Granit Xhaka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny as his other main midfield options, Emery is looking at adding some extra physical presence. Arsenal are aware of Marouane Fellaini’s availability but he is not currently a priority.
Arsenal agree deal to sign defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for £16m from Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal have reached an agreement on a £16 million deal to make Sokratis Papastathopoulos their second summer signing under new manager Unai Emery, but his arrival from Borussia Dortmund will not be officially announced until next month. After already bringing in Stephan Lichsteiner from Juventus earlier this week on a free transfer, Sokratis is the second experienced defender that Emery will add to a squad that has lost Per Mertesacker and which will be without Laurent Koscielny at the start of next season. Sokratis, who is 29 and had one year left on his contract in Germany, has made 79 appearances for Greece and had played for Dortmund since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. He previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan and is likely to go straight into Emery's starting team. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will also be the third player who worked previously with Arsenal's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Dortmund. Aged 34, Lichsteiner will also add experience to Arsenal's back line and, with Champions League qualification the big target next season, the signings do seem to represent a continuation of the January transfer policy which committed considerable wages to proven players who will have only limited sell-on value. Sokratis is expected to agree a three-year deal. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (left) challenges Latif Blessing Credit: ap Arsenal do still want to blend the squad with emerging young talents and, while discussions are still at an early stage, they are interested in 17-year-old Paris St Germain midfielder Yacine Adli. He has been capped in various international age groups by France and was given his senior debut at PSG by Emery, where he has not signed a professional contract. Midfield is another transfer priority for Arsenal but the strategy in this area will be largely framed by contract talks with Aaron Ramsey. Emery is hoping to commit a significant part of what is a limited budget this summer to making the Wales midfielder one of the pillars of his new team. Arsenal have already offered Ramsey a significant pay-rise on his current deal of just over £100,000 a week but, in the current market, he could realistically expect a contract approaching £200,000 a week. The calculation for Arsenal is whether they could hope to find a comparable quality replacement and the signs are so far positive that Ramsey will agree an improved extension on a deal that expires next summer. Jack Wilshere is also still deciding whether or not to stay and, with Granit Xhaka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny as his other main midfield options, Emery is looking at adding some extra physical presence. Arsenal are aware of Marouane Fellaini’s availability but he is not currently a priority.
Arsenal have reached an agreement on a £16 million deal to make Sokratis Papastathopoulos their second summer signing under new manager Unai Emery, but his arrival from Borussia Dortmund will not be officially announced until next month. After already bringing in Stephan Lichsteiner from Juventus earlier this week on a free transfer, Sokratis is the second experienced defender that Emery will add to a squad that has lost Per Mertesacker and which will be without Laurent Koscielny at the start of next season. Sokratis, who is 29 and had one year left on his contract in Germany, has made 79 appearances for Greece and had played for Dortmund since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. He previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan and is likely to go straight into Emery's starting team. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will also be the third player who worked previously with Arsenal's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Dortmund. Aged 34, Lichsteiner will also add experience to Arsenal's back line and, with Champions League qualification the big target next season, the signings do seem to represent a continuation of the January transfer policy which committed considerable wages to proven players who will have only limited sell-on value. Sokratis is expected to agree a three-year deal. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (left) challenges Latif Blessing Credit: ap Arsenal do still want to blend the squad with emerging young talents and, while discussions are still at an early stage, they are interested in 17-year-old Paris St Germain midfielder Yacine Adli. He has been capped in various international age groups by France and was given his senior debut at PSG by Emery, where he has not signed a professional contract. Midfield is another transfer priority for Arsenal but the strategy in this area will be largely framed by contract talks with Aaron Ramsey. Emery is hoping to commit a significant part of what is a limited budget this summer to making the Wales midfielder one of the pillars of his new team. Arsenal have already offered Ramsey a significant pay-rise on his current deal of just over £100,000 a week but, in the current market, he could realistically expect a contract approaching £200,000 a week. The calculation for Arsenal is whether they could hope to find a comparable quality replacement and the signs are so far positive that Ramsey will agree an improved extension on a deal that expires next summer. Jack Wilshere is also still deciding whether or not to stay and, with Granit Xhaka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny as his other main midfield options, Emery is looking at adding some extra physical presence. Arsenal are aware of Marouane Fellaini’s availability but he is not currently a priority.
Arsenal agree deal to sign defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for £16m from Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal have reached an agreement on a £16 million deal to make Sokratis Papastathopoulos their second summer signing under new manager Unai Emery, but his arrival from Borussia Dortmund will not be officially announced until next month. After already bringing in Stephan Lichsteiner from Juventus earlier this week on a free transfer, Sokratis is the second experienced defender that Emery will add to a squad that has lost Per Mertesacker and which will be without Laurent Koscielny at the start of next season. Sokratis, who is 29 and had one year left on his contract in Germany, has made 79 appearances for Greece and had played for Dortmund since joining from Werder Bremen in 2013. He previously played in Italy with Genoa and AC Milan and is likely to go straight into Emery's starting team. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will also be the third player who worked previously with Arsenal's new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, at Dortmund. Aged 34, Lichsteiner will also add experience to Arsenal's back line and, with Champions League qualification the big target next season, the signings do seem to represent a continuation of the January transfer policy which committed considerable wages to proven players who will have only limited sell-on value. Sokratis is expected to agree a three-year deal. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (left) challenges Latif Blessing Credit: ap Arsenal do still want to blend the squad with emerging young talents and, while discussions are still at an early stage, they are interested in 17-year-old Paris St Germain midfielder Yacine Adli. He has been capped in various international age groups by France and was given his senior debut at PSG by Emery, where he has not signed a professional contract. Midfield is another transfer priority for Arsenal but the strategy in this area will be largely framed by contract talks with Aaron Ramsey. Emery is hoping to commit a significant part of what is a limited budget this summer to making the Wales midfielder one of the pillars of his new team. Arsenal have already offered Ramsey a significant pay-rise on his current deal of just over £100,000 a week but, in the current market, he could realistically expect a contract approaching £200,000 a week. The calculation for Arsenal is whether they could hope to find a comparable quality replacement and the signs are so far positive that Ramsey will agree an improved extension on a deal that expires next summer. Jack Wilshere is also still deciding whether or not to stay and, with Granit Xhaka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny as his other main midfield options, Emery is looking at adding some extra physical presence. Arsenal are aware of Marouane Fellaini’s availability but he is not currently a priority.
All 32 teams at the 2018 World Cup have named their 23-man squads - and you can see the names of all 736 players here. Some, like England and Brazil, named their final line-ups in good time, while others waited until the June 4 deadline. Those who do not make the cut are placed on standby in case they are needed to replace any injured players. Replacements can be made at any point until 24 hours before each team's first World Cup game. Here is what we know so far about each squad so far, while you can find more detail about each side below: Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Group A Russia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrei Lunyov (Zenit St. Petersburg). Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg). Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow). Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar). Egypt 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El Shennawy (Al Ahly) Defenders: Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Al Fateh), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Saad Samir (Al Ahly) Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Abdallah El Said (Al Ahly Jeddah), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad Jeddah), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Shikabala (Al Raed), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos) Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) Saudi Arabia 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Mohammed Al Owais (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Mosailem (Al Ahli), Abdullah Al Mayouf (Al Hilal) Defenders: Mansoor Al Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al Breik (Al Hilal), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Ali Al Bulaihi (Al Hilal) Midfielders: Abdullah Al Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno (both Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal), Yahya Al Shehri (Al Nassr), Fahad Al Muwallad (Al Ittihad) Forwards: Mohammad Al Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli) Uruguay 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana. Defenders: Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela. Midfielders: Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez. Strikers: Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez. World Cup predictor Group B Iran 23-man final squad: Alireza Beiranvand, Rashid Mazaheri, Amir Abedzadeh; Ramin Rezaeian, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Morteza Pouraliganji, Pejman Montazeri, Seyed Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Roozbeh Cheshmi; Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei, Saman Ghoddos, Mahdi Torabi, Ashkan Dejagah, Omid Ebrahimi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Vahid Amiri; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun, Reza Ghoochannejhad Morocco 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Mounir Mohamedi (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger) Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille) Midfielders: Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke) Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St. Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga) Portugal 23-man final squad: Anthony Lopes, Beto, Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Adrien Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, William Carvalho, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma Spain 23-man final squad: David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal, Alvaro Odriozola, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Cesar Azpilicueta, Sergio Busquets, Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Saul Niguez, Koke, Marco Asensio, Iago Aspas, Diego Costa, Rodrigo Moreno, Lucas Vazquez. Group C Australia 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Brad Jones. Defenders: Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, James Meredith. Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (captain), Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine, Tomi Rogic, Dimitri Petratos, Mathew Leckie, Daniel Arzani. Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren, Robbie Kruse. Denmark 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich) Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen) Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig) World Cup 2018 stadiums France 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers:Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola. Defenders: Djibril Sidibe, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Lucas Hernandez. Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Corentin Tolisso, N'Golo Kante, Steven Nzonzi. Forwards: Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Florian Thauvin, Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir. Peru 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC). Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar). Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz). Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo) Group D Argentina 23-man final squad: Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armania, Gabriel Mercardo, Cristian Ansaldi, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Croatia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb) Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg) Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka) Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt) Iceland 23-man final squad: Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson Nigeria 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United). Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa). Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino). Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone) Group E Brazil 23-man final squad: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio; Danilo, Fagner, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Pedro Geromel; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Fred, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Douglas Costa; Neymar, Taison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino Costa Rica 23-man final squad: Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira, Cristian Gamboa, Ian Smith, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Oviedo, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Francisco Calvo, Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta, David Guzman, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa, Rodney Wallace, Bryan Ruiz, Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos, Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Marco Urena. Switzerland 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) Serbia 23-man squad 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). Group F Germany 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St Germain). Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich). Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal). Mexico 23-man final squad 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) South Korea 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe, Japan), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka, Japan), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC) Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande, China), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo, Japan), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu, Japan), Yun Yong-sun (Seongnam FC), Oh Ban-suk (Jeju United), Kim Min-woo (Sangju Sangmu), Park Joo-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Hong Chul (Sangju Sangmu), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City, England), Jung Woo-young (Vissel Kobe, Japan), Ju Se-jong (Asan Mugunghwa FC), Koo Ja-cheol (FC Augsburg, Germany), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Seung-woo (Hellas Verona, Italy), Moon Seon-min (Incheon United). Forwards: Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Son Heung-min (Tottenham, England), Hwang Hee-chan (FC Red Bull Salzburg, Austria) Sweden 23-man final squad: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth, Pontus Jansson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Gustav Svensson, Oscar Hiljemark, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Rohden, Jimmy Durmaz, Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, Isaac Kiese Thelin Group G Belgium 24-man squad* *Roberto Martinez said that World Cup rules allowed the final squad to be named 24 hours before they kick off their campaign Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg). Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City). Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur). Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli). England 23-man final squad: Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck Panama 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Jose Calderon (Chorrillo FC), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC). Defenders: Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders FC), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Felipe Baloy (CSD Municipal). Midfielders: Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga), Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Club Universidad de Chile), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario Lima), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Jose Luis Rodriguez (KAA Gent). Forwards: Blas Perez (CSD Municipal), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruña), Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys). Tunisia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia) Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt) Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France) Forwards: Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes, France) Group H Colombia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz). World Cup 2018 venues Poland 23-man final squad Goalkeepers:Bartosz Bialkowski (Ipswich Town), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus). Defenders: Jan Bednarek (Southampton), Bartosz Bereszynski (Sampdoria), Thiago Cionek (SPAL), Kamil Glik (AS Monaco), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warszawa), Michal Pazdan (Legia Warszawa), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund). Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (VfL Wolfsburg), Jacek Goralski (Ludogorets Razgrad), Kamil Grosicki (Hull City), Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion), Rafal Kurzawa (Gornik Zabrze), Karol Linetty (Sampdoria), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Maciej Rybus (Lokomotiv Moscow), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli). Forwards: Dawid Kownacki (Sampdoria), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli), Lukasz Teodorczyk (Anderlecht) Senegal 23-man final squad: Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 squad lists and team guides - latest news and updates
All 32 teams at the 2018 World Cup have named their 23-man squads - and you can see the names of all 736 players here. Some, like England and Brazil, named their final line-ups in good time, while others waited until the June 4 deadline. Those who do not make the cut are placed on standby in case they are needed to replace any injured players. Replacements can be made at any point until 24 hours before each team's first World Cup game. Here is what we know so far about each squad so far, while you can find more detail about each side below: Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Group A Russia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrei Lunyov (Zenit St. Petersburg). Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg). Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow). Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar). Egypt 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El Shennawy (Al Ahly) Defenders: Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Al Fateh), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Saad Samir (Al Ahly) Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Abdallah El Said (Al Ahly Jeddah), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad Jeddah), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Shikabala (Al Raed), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos) Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) Saudi Arabia 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Mohammed Al Owais (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Mosailem (Al Ahli), Abdullah Al Mayouf (Al Hilal) Defenders: Mansoor Al Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al Breik (Al Hilal), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Ali Al Bulaihi (Al Hilal) Midfielders: Abdullah Al Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno (both Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal), Yahya Al Shehri (Al Nassr), Fahad Al Muwallad (Al Ittihad) Forwards: Mohammad Al Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli) Uruguay 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Martin Silva, Martin Campana. Defenders: Diego Godin, Sebastian Coates, Jose Maria Gimenez, Maximiliano Pereira, Gaston Silva, Martin Caceres, Guillermo Varela. Midfielders: Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Carlos Sanchez, Giorgian De Arrascaeta, Cristian Rodriguez, Gaston Ramirez. Strikers: Cristhian Stuani, Maximiliano Gomez, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez. World Cup predictor Group B Iran 23-man final squad: Alireza Beiranvand, Rashid Mazaheri, Amir Abedzadeh; Ramin Rezaeian, Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, Morteza Pouraliganji, Pejman Montazeri, Seyed Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Roozbeh Cheshmi; Saeid Ezatolahi, Masoud Shojaei, Saman Ghoddos, Mahdi Torabi, Ashkan Dejagah, Omid Ebrahimi, Ehsan Hajsafi, Vahid Amiri; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun, Reza Ghoochannejhad Morocco 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Mounir Mohamedi (Numancia), Yassine Bounou (Girona), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger) Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille) Midfielders: Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke) Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St. Pauli), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga) Portugal 23-man final squad: Anthony Lopes, Beto, Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Mario Rui, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Adrien Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Mario, Joao Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, William Carvalho, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gelson Martins, Goncalo Guedes, Ricardo Quaresma Spain 23-man final squad: David de Gea, Pepe Reina, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal, Alvaro Odriozola, Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Cesar Azpilicueta, Sergio Busquets, Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Saul Niguez, Koke, Marco Asensio, Iago Aspas, Diego Costa, Rodrigo Moreno, Lucas Vazquez. Group C Australia 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Brad Jones. Defenders: Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, James Meredith. Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (captain), Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine, Tomi Rogic, Dimitri Petratos, Mathew Leckie, Daniel Arzani. Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren, Robbie Kruse. Denmark 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich) Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen) Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig) World Cup 2018 stadiums France 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers:Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola. Defenders: Djibril Sidibe, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Lucas Hernandez. Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Corentin Tolisso, N'Golo Kante, Steven Nzonzi. Forwards: Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Florian Thauvin, Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir. Peru 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC). Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar). Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz). Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo) Group D Argentina 23-man final squad: Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armania, Gabriel Mercardo, Cristian Ansaldi, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Croatia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb) Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg) Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka) Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt) Iceland 23-man final squad: Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson Nigeria 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United). Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa). Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino). Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone) Group E Brazil 23-man final squad: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio; Danilo, Fagner, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Pedro Geromel; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Fred, Renato Augusto, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Douglas Costa; Neymar, Taison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino Costa Rica 23-man final squad: Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira, Cristian Gamboa, Ian Smith, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Oviedo, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Francisco Calvo, Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta, David Guzman, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa, Rodney Wallace, Bryan Ruiz, Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos, Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Marco Urena. Switzerland 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) Serbia 23-man squad 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). Group F Germany 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St Germain). Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich). Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal). Mexico 23-man final squad 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) South Korea 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe, Japan), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka, Japan), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC) Defenders: Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande, China), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo, Japan), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu, Japan), Yun Yong-sun (Seongnam FC), Oh Ban-suk (Jeju United), Kim Min-woo (Sangju Sangmu), Park Joo-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Hong Chul (Sangju Sangmu), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City, England), Jung Woo-young (Vissel Kobe, Japan), Ju Se-jong (Asan Mugunghwa FC), Koo Ja-cheol (FC Augsburg, Germany), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Seung-woo (Hellas Verona, Italy), Moon Seon-min (Incheon United). Forwards: Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Son Heung-min (Tottenham, England), Hwang Hee-chan (FC Red Bull Salzburg, Austria) Sweden 23-man final squad: Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth, Pontus Jansson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Gustav Svensson, Oscar Hiljemark, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Rohden, Jimmy Durmaz, Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, Isaac Kiese Thelin Group G Belgium 24-man squad* *Roberto Martinez said that World Cup rules allowed the final squad to be named 24 hours before they kick off their campaign Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg). Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City). Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur). Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli). England 23-man final squad: Jack Butland, Nick Pope, Jordan Pickford; Fabian Delph, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill; Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford, Danny Welbeck Panama 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Jose Calderon (Chorrillo FC), Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC). Defenders: Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls), Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders FC), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Eric Davis (DAC Dunajska Streda), Luis Ovalle (CD Olimpia), Felipe Baloy (CSD Municipal). Midfielders: Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga), Edgar Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula), Armando Cooper (Club Universidad de Chile), Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario Lima), Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Jose Luis Rodriguez (KAA Gent). Forwards: Blas Perez (CSD Municipal), Gabriel Torres (CD Huachipato), Ismael Diaz (Deportivo La Coruña), Abdiel Arroyo (LD Alajuelense), Luis Tejada (Sport Boys). Tunisia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia) Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt) Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France) Forwards: Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes, France) Group H Colombia 23-man final squad: Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Arsenal), Camilo Vargas (AC Deportivo Cali), Jose Fernando Cuadrado (CD Once Caldas). Defenders: Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Oscar Murillo (CF Pachuca), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Yerry Mina (Barcelona), Johan Mojica (Girona FC), Frank Fabra (CA Boca Juniors), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur). Midfielders: Wilmar Barrios (CA Boca Juniors), Carlos Sanchez (RCD Espanyol), Abel Aguilar (AC Deportivo Cali), James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich), Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Juventus), Mateus Uribe (Club America), Jefferson Lerma (Levante), Juan Fernando Quintero (CA River Plate). Forwards: Carlos Bacca (Villarreal), Radamel Falcao Garcia (Monaco), Luis Muriel (Sevilla), Miguel Borja (SE Palmeiras), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion). Japan 23-man squad: Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol). Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers). Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale). Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen