France and Denmark advanced from Group C and into the knockout stages after stinking up the World Cup with the tournament’s first goalless draw in 36 matches.
Knowing that a point apiece would be enough to secure safe passage for both sides, the Danes were content to sit deep and defend in numbers for 90 minutes while Les Bleus were perfectly willing to let them.
Didier Deschamps rested/dropped several big names, but still a team boasting the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud, Thomas Lemar and later Kylian Mbappe and Nabil Fekir were unable to forge any openings of note, finding themselves restricted to just one effort on target (compared to Denmark’s zero).
In short, the game was an immediately forgettable dud with pretty much nothing to redeem it.
In stark contrast, Peru produced an energetic performance in their final Group C fixture against Australia to clinch a thoroughly-deserved departing victory.
Having fallen to defeat in their first two outings, Los Incas went bowing out with an entertaining 2-0 win, courtesy of goals from Andre Carrillo and Pablo Guerrero.
Carrilo’s 18th-minute opener was particularly handsome with the Benfica winger slotting a neat volley away from an angle approaching ‘acute’ territory…
The result was cheered to the rafters by Peru’s wonderful, buoyant fans, who celebrated their side’s first win at a World Cup since beating Iran 4-1 in the group stages of Argentina 1978.
So, the upshot is that France and Denmark skulk through from Group C in first and second place respectively, while Peru and Australia are going home.
For Deschamps’ dreary side in particular, vast improvements will be required if they have any hope of advancing further.