Peru's missed opportunities in 1-0 loss to Denmark
Denmark 1 (Poulsen 59’)
By Sam Burge
Denmark have managed to hold on for a 1-0 win, in what was an open and entertaining Group C clash that Peru dominated for large periods.
The only goal came in the 59th minute when Peru were exposed on the counter when Christian Eriksen delivered a through-ball to Yussuf Poulsen who finished coolly into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.
A missed penalty in the 45th minute from Peru proved costly especially with their all-time leading goal scorer and likely penalty taker Paolo Guerrero was sitting on the bench.
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Played in front of a sea of red and white – the colours of both countries – at the Mordovia Arena in Salansk, the pace was lightning from the outset.
Peru had the better of the first 20 minutes although their chances mainly came through long-range shots on-goal.
Denmark finally settled and started holding possession for longer periods. Their main man Eriksen was slightly off in failing to capitalise on a couple of free kick opportunities on the edge of the box.
Peru still looked the more dangerous of the two sides and on the stroke of half-time, Peru’s Christian Cueva surged into the box and was brought down by Poulsen.
The referee waved away calls for a penalty but his decision was overturned moments later with a video assistant referee (VAR) intervention.
It was a scenario similar to the earlier France-Australia match where play was brought back after a VAR decision awarded Griezmann a penalty although in this case, the decision appeared less contentious with Cueva clearly being brought down.
Cueva stepped up to take the spot kick but blasted it over the bar, and it was a moment that would come back to haunt the Peruvians as they went to half time at 0-0.
Denmark started the second half well and despite not being at his best, Eriksen orchestrated what would prove to be the match winner when he summed up a three-on-three situation perfectly to slice open the defence for Poulsen to score.
Peru’s infamous captain Paolo Guerrero came on and made an immediate impact, firstly with a header that landed straight in the arms of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and then he tried a back-heel that went wide.
Peru dominated the rest of the match with Carrillo creating a number of chances with his incisive runs. In total, the Peruvians had 18 shots compared to Denmark’s 10.
Schmeichel followed in the footsteps of his famous father Peter (Manchester United 1991-1999) with six crucial saves.
Peru: 1 Gallese (gk), 2 Rodriguez ©, 6 Trauco, 8 Cueva, 10 Farfan (85’), 13 Tapia (87’), 15 Ramos, 17 Avincula, 18 Carrillo, 19 Yotun, 20 Flores (62’)
Substitutes: 3 Corzo, 4 Santamaria, 5 Araujo, 7 Hurtado, 9 Guerrero (62’), 11 Ruidiaz (85’), 12 Caceda (gk), 14 Polo, 16 Cartagena, 21 Carvallo (gk), 22 Loyola, 23 Aquino (87’)
Denmark: 1 Schmeichel (gk), 4 Kjaer ©, 6 Christensen (81’), 7 Kvist (36’), 8 Delaney, 9 N. Jorgensen, 10 Eriksen, 14 Dalsgaard, 17 Stryger, 20 Poulsen, 23 Sisto (67’)
Substitutes: 2 Krohn-Dehli, 3 Vestergaard, 5 Knudsen, 11 Braithwaite (67’), 12 Dolberg, 13 M.Jorgensen (81’), 15 Fischer, 16 Lossl (gk), 18 Lerager, 19 Schone (36’), 21 Cornelius, 22 Ronnow (gk)