epa06813741 Nicolai Jorgensen of Denmark (L) and Alberto Rodriguez of Peru in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group C preliminary round soccer match between Peru and Denmark in Saransk, Russia, 16 June 2018.
Saturday Jun 16, 2018. 20:15
Denmark opened their Group C campaign in the 2018 World Cup with a narrow 1-0 win over Peru at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Saturday evening.
The result sees the Danes join France at the top of the pool on three points, though they will perhaps feel fortunate to have claimed victory against a ‘Los Incas’ side which missed a penalty and wasted numerous other scoring chances.
Peru started brightly and had the first shot in anger in the eighth minute, with Yoshimar Yotun letting fly from long range to warm the palms of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Schmeichel was called into more serious action five minutes later, making an excellent diving save to keep out a low shot from Andre Carillo which looked destine for the bottom corner of the net.
The South Americans continued to enjoy chances, with Jefferson Farfan denied by a great tackle from Simon Kjaer in the 29th minute, but by this point the European side had begun to take hold of the game by dominating possession.
The Danes suffered an injury blow which saw William Kvist stretchered off and replaced by Lasse Schone just under 10 minutes before the end of the first half, and the substitute sent a powerful shot on target in the 40th minute but was denied by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Late in the first half Peru were awarded a penalty via a VAR review after Yussuf Poulsen tripped up Christian Cueva. The man who won the spot kick took it himself and skied the ball over the crossbar to leave the game goalless at the interval.
Peru again began the second half strongly, but after failing to capitalise on a couple of very promising attacking opportunities, they found themselves a goal down when Denmark broke the deadlock just before the hour mark.
Christian Eriksen was allowed to run into space and provided a perfectly-weighted pass for Poulsen to run onto, and Denmark’s number 20 coolly stroked the ball beyond Gallese to make it 1-0.
Peru almost came up with an immediate reply, as a slick passing move put Edison Flores in a good shooting position, but his left-footed shot was superbly saved by Schmeichel.
‘Los Incas’ kept plugging away at Denmark’s defence and almost scored an equaliser in the 79th minute, with substitute Paolo Guerrero trying a clever back-heel which flashed just wide of Schmeichel’s left-hand post.
Five minutes later Carillo set up Jefferson Farfan with a great cut-back from the right, but the striker saw his goal-bound shot turned away by the Danish goalkeeper’s leg.
Denmark (0) 1 (Poulsen 59’)
Peru: Gallese, Advincula, Rodriguez, Ramos, Trauco, Tapia (Aquino 87’), Yotun, Carillo, Cueva, Flores (Guerrero 63’), Farfan (Ruidiaz 85’)
Denmark: Schmeichel, Larsen, Christensen (M. Jorgensen 81’), Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Delaney, Eriken, Kvist (Schone 36’), Sisto (Braithwaite 67’), Poulsen, N. Jorgensen