Denmark vs France at Luzhniki Stadium

26 June, 2018, 20:45 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • France's forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal during a training session at the Glebovets stadium in Istra

France topped Group C, and Denmark secured their place in the first knockout round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as they played out a drab 0-0 draw at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday. Both the teams are playing their last group match. The Danes need to avoid defeat to progress to the next phase, and they could even qualify with a loss if Australia do not emerge victorious from their game against already-eliminated Peru and improve their goal difference by a significant enough margin to leapfrog them.

Whilst Denmark will have to keep it tight against a French front line who has plenty of space on the flanks. There's a slim chance that Denmark could be sent home if they lose this game, and Australia has a higher goal differential (they're now down by two goals).

Versatile players are a boon to nations like Denmark, where the pool of talent might be such that you're overstocked with quality at certain positions and thinner at others. After the first game, we said we can play much better than this, but again we were happy that we scored. "It wasn't a very nice thing", said Deschamps. But France and Denmark eventually settled for the first goalless draw of the tournament.

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Denmark coach Age Hareide made some unflattering remarks about France in the build-up to the tournament, calling them "nothing special".

Four years ago, France were 2-0 winners at the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, kicking the Eagles out of Brazil 2014. Can Kylian Mbappe - who became the first teenager to score for France at a World Cup with his strike against Peru - join this rarefied list, by netting against the Danes? "We know the Argentines have very strong individuals, notably Lionel Messi", he added. "If you'd read the whole article you would have seen I was comparing with the '98 team [which won the World Cup on home soil, ed.]".

Antoine Griezmann ballooned a cross too high as France came forward, and with a quarter of an hour gone France wanted a penalty when Lucas Hernandez tumbled under Henrik Dalsgaard's challenge.

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