Australia came into this game knowing they needed a win to keep their hopes toward advancing alive. Despite knowing how crucial this game was, Australia made a devastating defensive error that led to Peru scoring in the 18th minute. Full back Josh Risdon failed to control a long ball, causing Guerrero to take possession and cross the ball to Andre Carrillo who hit a volley into the left corner of the net. This goal for Peru marked their first World Cup goal in 36 years.
André Carrillo scores Peru's first #WorldCup goal in 36 years.
Worth the wait. pic.twitter.com/OtFvCH7cFX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 26, 2018
Even though Australia came into the second half fighting to win, Peru responded by scoring a quick goal and diminishing the Aussie’s hopes for a win. Five minutes into the second half a deflection off of Australia’s Jedinak caused the ball to drop directly to Guerrero’s feet making it an easy goal for Peru. Australia tried to rally in the second half, but could not finish the few chances they could muster up and ended their World Cup showing by a 2-0 loss to Peru.
France knew they had a secure spot to advance despite how their third game could go but Denmark put up fight to try to finish the group stage on top of France. Both teams went back and forth, struggling to create clear chances on goal. However in the extra minutes of the first half, France had a good shot to take the game when Griezmann’s layoff created an opening for France inside the box, but Giroud fired the ball over the goal. Although heading into the second half, the level of play went drastically down. Both teams made careless mistakes; France’s keeper fumbled a shot and barely recovered it before Denmark’s forward could get a foot on it. In the end neither team could come together to finish a shot on goal and closed the game with a draw, making France the top team in group C and Denmark the second.
Croatia felt comfortable going into their last game of the group stage aware they earned a place to play in the next round. Although they could have coasted through this game and stayed safe, Croatia did not let up. They controlled possession in the midfield throughout the first half. Iceland had two close chances to score in the first half, but one shot by Alfred Finnobogason shot went wide and Aron Gunnarsson’s shot was blocked by Croatia’s goalie Lovre Kalinic. Badelj took matters into his own hands when he crushed a volley into the back of the net for Croatia’s first goal just six minutes into the second half. Iceland quickly came back when Croatia’s Dejan Lovren conceded a hand ball in the box in the 75 minute. Sigurdsson took advantage of the penalty kick by finessing a right foot shot into the top center of the goal to tie the game. The match looked like it would end 1-1 until Badelji crossed the ball to the left side of the box to Ivan Perisic to shoot with his left foot and score in the top right hand corner to win the game in the 90 minute.
The pressure was on Messi and Argentina to win this game so they could continue playing in the World Cup. While Messi has cracked under pressure in the past, he did not disappoint Argentina fans today when he scored a goal into the bottom left corner of the net in just the 14th minute the game. Javier Mascherano conceded a foul in Argentina’s penalty area which resulted in Nigeria’s Victor Moses scoring off the penalty kick to tie the game in the 51st minute. Tensions rose as each team saw that this game would determined who continued playing in Russia and who went home. Nigeria and Argentina both got multiple good looks on the goal, but were unable to finish, until Gabriel Mercado found Marcos Rojo in the center of the box and crossed the ball to him. Rojo skillfully finished the ball into the bottom right corner. Argentina won the game 2-1 and by the skin of their teeth secured a spot to play in the next round.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 26, 2018