Croatia, France Book Last-16 Place, Argentina in Danger Zone

Croatia, France Book Last-16 Place, Argentina in Danger ZoneCroatia, France Book Last-16 Place, Argentina in Danger Zone

Enjoying three goals, Croats humbled shambolic Argentina in Group D of the World Cup to book their name in the round of 16; France also benefited from 1-0 win over Peru in Group C to secure a spot in the next round as group mates Denmark and Australia made a draw.

Croatia was in dreamland on Thursday after advancing to the knockout phase of the World Cup for the first time in 20 years with a 3-0 rout of Argentina that left a subdued Lionel Messi and his team mates facing yet another flop.

The emphatic Group D victory in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Thursday ensured Croatia became the fourth country to reach the second round of the tournament and condemned twice champion Argentina to an anxious next five days as the team awaits its fate.

Croatia is top of the group with six points while Argentina has just one point from two games.

  Youngest Goal Scorer

France beat Peru 1-0 with a goal from Kylian Mbappe on Thursday to book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup and crush the South Americans’ hopes of progressing in the first appearance at the tournament for 36 years.

Mbappe’s 34th-minute goal took him past David Trezeguet’s record (20) as France’s youngest scorer in the competition, at 19 years of age, and took the team to two wins from two games in Group C.

When Olivier Giroud’s shot took a deflection off a defender and looped over goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, the teenager was on hand to tap in a simple chance.

The result leaves France on six points and Denmark and Australia on four and one respectively after their 1-1 draw earlier in the day.

  Danes vs. Aussies

Captain Mile Jedinak rode to Australia’s World Cup rescue with a penalty to cancel out Christian Eriksen’s superb opener for Denmark, securing a 1-1 draw.

Eriksen’s seventh-minute opener was fully deserved by the fast-starting Danes and the quality of his half-volley finish was excellent in a tournament that has produced some wonderful goals.

Jedinak, however, got Australia back into the game with his second penalty in Russia, awarded following the intervention of the VAR, and the draw kept the Socceroos just about alive in the tournament.

Denmark moved on to four points and need at least a draw against France in the final group game to guarantee a last-16 spot. Australia’s destiny, however, is no longer in their own hands.

With one point, they must win their last match against Peru to stand any chance of going through, but results could still conspire to send them home if Denmark beats France.


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