Match 1: Denmark v Australia (1-1)
Christian Eriksen scored a sublime volley to put the Danes in front but Mile Jedinak scored from the penalty spot for the second straight game to gain a valuable point for Australia.
The penalty was somewhat controversial and in the days where VAR was not involved in football, it would have likely not been given as a penalty. It was the correct decision to award the penalty but Denmark manager, Age Hareide, was extremely critical of how VAR has been used so far in this tournament.
Hareide said: “I do believe it was a penalty but the whole issue with VAR is that there are people somewhere in Russia deciding to look at this situation because it looks like a penalty.
That is OK but there were other situations in the match where they should have stopped it to look at what actually happened but they are not doing that, so who decides?”
This comes just days after VAR was not used in the England match where it seemed that Harry Kane was wrestled to the ground twice. Is consistency with VAR a problem in this tournament?
Match 2: Argentina v Croatia (0-3)
This result was arguably the biggest shock of the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far. Argentina and Lionel Messi are on the brink of elimination. The Argentines have only failed to progress from the group stage on three occasions (1958, 1962 and 2002).
Messi was once again marked out of the game and he is being out performed by his arch-nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has scored all of Portugal’s goals so far, whereas Messi has failed to step up when it matters in Russia.
A mistake from Willy Caballero cost his side dear as the Croatians took full advantage of the gaffe and broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute. Even Luka Modric stepped up for his nation and scored from a beautiful long range effort.
Then it looked like Argentina had given up as Rakitic strolled forward with ease and nobody closed him down. His shot was initially saved but Rakitic scored from the rebound.
Argentina have to hope that Iceland fail to beat Nigeria today otherwise they are surely out of the competition.
Match 3: France v Peru (1-0)
France have qualified for the Round of 16 after beating a very game Peru side 1-0.
Didier Deschamps’ team put on a much improved display but the general feeling is that there is still more to come from Les Blues. Teenager, Kylian Mbappe, scored the only goal of the game and not only put his country through to the next round, but also eliminated Peru from the competition.
Peru were making their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in over thirty years but their journey is now over. However, their remaining game against Australia should still be entertaining as Peru will be playing for national pride and the Aussies must win if they have any chance of reaching the Round of 16.
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