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Paul Pogba steps up, Antoine Griezmann struggles as France grab narrow win

Paul Pogba steps up, Antoine Griezmann struggles as France grab narrow win

Kylian Mbappe became France's youngest scorer at a World Cup when he earned Les Bleus a 1-0 win against Peru in their second Group C game, sending the South Americans out of the tournament on Thursday.

France had been pushed back by their plucky opponents, who enjoyed more possession and made more successful passes than Les Bleus but could not end their 40-year wait for a goal on football's biggest worldwide stage. They may have held France to just the one goal, but failed to attack the French goal.

Their win ended Peru's hopes of progressing beyond the group.

Peru made a quick start, putting the 1998 champions under pressure, and Lloris - on his 100th appearance for France - was nearly embarrassed when Yoshimar Yotun's lob from the half-way line dropped over the crossbar.

It ended plucky Peru's chances of qualifying but they anxious France with Paolo Guerrero denied by Hugo Lloris and Pedro Aquino hitting the post.

France is leading Group C with 6 points.

Gareca said the Incas, who played some attractive soccer in going down 1-0 to Denmark in their first game, would not change their approach against the highly-fancied French on Thursday.

Griezmann had a pair of opportunities stopped within the first 15 minutes, with Mbappe and Dembele consistently getting past Peru's defense to set up scoring chances.

At 19 years and six months, he is the youngest footballer in French team's history to have scored a goal during the World Cup or the Euro.

He also now has made 76 appearances wearing the captain's armband.

Hence, Peru seemed to have identified this minor glitch and were absolutely threatening in the first quarter of the hour.

As good as Dembele is, Mbappe just seems to have the edge in terms of maturity.

Peru will be hoping to give their supporters, a reported 40,000 of whom have travelled to Russian Federation, something to shout about in the final group match against Australia, who can still qualify ahead of Denmark with victory in Sochi.

This is an elimination game for Peru as they will not advance without grabbing at least one point. Team Peru will play against Australia at the Fisht stadium in Sochi. Physically, France were stronger and fitter and it showed on countless occasions - especially 50-50 challenges and aerial battles.

Don't miss a moment of the World Cup! But when they say farewell in Sochi next Tuesday, the least their travelling army of fans deserve is a goal to cheer.



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