Poulsen turns hero from villain as Danes edge Peru

Eriksen-inspired Denmark out to spoil Peru's World Cup return
World Cup 2018:
Author

19 June, 2018

Their reputation for "Danish dynamite" may have been built on the flair of their attacking play, but the 2018 version of Denmark owes more to the dogged defending they displayed when defeating Peru 1-0 in their World Cup opener on Saturday.

When Poulsen clipped Cueva's boot on 45 minutes, referee Bakary Gassama checked with the Video Assistant Referee and pointed to the spot for the second penalty awarded through the system of the day after France had also benefited against Australia.

Despite his innate pragmatism, there is still room for creativity in his team, and once again it was Christian Eriksen who fashioned the opportunity for Yussuf Poulsen to score Denmark's victor.

Denmark prides itself on its ability to play different styles of play and is just as comfortable knocking the ball to feet as it is launching a long ball forward. "It seemed I was going to be the villain here".

Denmark, for whom Thomas Delaney had shot over, were forced into a change in the 35th minute as the injured William Kvist was substituted for Lasse Schone and three minutes later Eriksen sent a free-kick into the wall, with Schone's effort on the rebound being dealt with by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

Farfan, 33, keeps his place after his goals against Paraguay and in a playoff against New Zealand carried Peru to their first World Cup finals for 36 years.

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Eriksen is clearly the key to Denmark's hopes, but they will need more from their other attacking players to make a real impact on the tournament.

They will face a similar physical challenge from Peru captain Paolo Guerrero, who was cleared to play at the World Cup when a Swiss court agreed to temporarily lift his doping suspension. Later, his clever back-heel from close range rolled just wide.

Any Peruvian success in Russian Federation might have been tainted if opponents made a fuss that Guerrero, Peru's all-time leading scorer, had no business playing in the World Cup after failing a drug test past year. "Bear in mind that Paolo is a very important player but he was the last one to come in to the national squad".

Although lacking in individual brilliance, Peru will be hoping their ability to adapt to different conditions serves them well in Russian Federation. "I don't think Peru deserved to lose but we can't cry over spilt milk. Now all we can do is to think about France".

Modric's coolly taken 71st minute spot kick gave the scoreline a clear-cut feel, but the fact that Croatia failed to score on their own from open play was testament to some wayward shooting. Schmeichel dove to his right to bat the ball away.

He then scored and created another in a 2-0 friendly win over Mexico in a pre-World Cup warm-up.


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