After the completion of the matches in this round, the standings are as follows.
France sits atop with Denmark close behind in the group after matchday 2. France has secured knockout football with Peru eliminated, it leaves Denmark and Australia to vie for the second spot on the last day. Goal differential will play a role in the final matches as Australia need to A. win against Peru, B. win by at least 3 goals or less if France scores on Denmark, C. Denmark must lose. Of course, Denmark simply needs a draw or for Australia to draw/lose to advance, with the aforementioned goal differential only playing a role if Denmark loses. The matchday 3 start times will coincide so you can imagine staff/fans from both teams will have a close eye on the scores throughout.
Denmark vs Australia
This match was not the most enthralling of the World Cup, however, it still provided a tactical showdown with brief moments of excitement. Statistically, the teams were evenly matched, for the most part, Australia having a slight advantage. Onlookers might have even said Australia deserved a better result based on their performance. The match did not begin in a flattering way for Australia giving up a few quality chances within 30 min. In fact, a nice flick allowed Eriksen to break through the backline and strike a wonderful volleyed goal in the 7th min. The tide of the match turned somewhat when in the 38th min, on a corner, Poulsen blocked an Aussie header with an unintentional outstretched arm. Initially, the referee did not see the infraction, but VAR was employed to spot the infraction as Poulsen’s arm blocked the ball’s path on goal. Jedinak again stepped up to convert the Aussie PK, his second in as many matches. At halftime, the match was level at 1-1, setting up a 2nd half in which both sides knew that they needed to grab the winner. Each side traded big opportunities to steal all 3 points forcing goalline clearances and spectacular saves from both keepers. Australia squandered the better of the chances catching Schmeichel off his line momentarily but seeing their shot fall short of what was required. Australia will face an eliminated Peru side who will want to leave the tournament on a positive note, with the Aussies knowing they need to take all 3 points. Denmark will match up with an already advancing France squad, who many expect to field a weakened side in order to prepare for the knockout rounds, knowing the Danes need simply to not lose.
France vs Peru
France came into this match versus a dynamic Peru side with expectations to continue growing towards the contender-type stature that many wanted to see. Again France did not demonstrate any real control of the match and the sides traded attacks most of the 90 min. Peru actually had a bit more of the possession statistics on their side, 56% to 44% overall, while also attempting 127 more passes than France. In the 1st half France had the better chances putting a few shots just wide, while Lloris was forced into 1 big save himself. To cap off the half for France they benefitted from yet another deflection to allow the ball to fall to Mbappe in the 6yd box with an open net in the 34th min. The 2nd half had an elimination threatened Peru trying to put more pressure on France’s defense. The application of which lead to a 49th min strike that pinged off the upper corner of the goal post almost leveling the match. the sides then traded a few more quality chances both missing shots just wide. France benefitting from Peru’s inability to scored in the tournament took all 3 points and secured advancement to the next round. France plays Denmark in their final somewhat meaningless match, probably looking to simply rest a few main players while awaiting their next round opposition. Peru will have 1 more match against a motivated Australia to try and grab a goal and some self-respect.