YEKATERINGBURG, June 21 (AFP): Teenager Kylian Mbappe became France’s youngest World Cup goalscorer as they beat Peru 1-0 on Thursday to reach the last 16 and condemn the South Americans to an early exit.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe aged 19 years and 183 days underlined his rich talent and claimed his place in the French record books when he poked home in the first half.
Didier Deschamps’ side face Denmark on Tuesday with top spot in Group C up for grabs but progression to the next stage assured.
The South Americans’ last appearance was in 1982 and they made this like a home game, ensuring their red and white dominated the Yekaterinburg Arena.
That included the two enormous temporary stands that stretch high above both ends, exposed to the elements, where Peru fans bobbed and bounced to keep warm.
With 15 minutes gone, Pogba and France began to impose themselves.
Deschamps had clearly told his side, disappointing in beating Australia 2-1 in their opener, to go long and use Giroud’s physicality.
Peru’s best outlet in the first half was rampaging full-back Luis Advincula, who had the beating of defender Lucas Hernandez down France’s left flank.
On 34 minutes France went in front. Pogba cleverly played in Giroud, his shot took a deflection and looped over Gallese, allowing Mbappe to stab into an open net. New-found confidence ran through the French and Hernandez should have made it 2-0 just before the break.
But for all their possession, Peru — in their distinctive white kit with red sash — caused the French defence few problems.