World Cup 2018: Poulsen scores as Denmark down Peru by a solitary goal
In a match between the two middleweights, both coming-off from the qualifiers and playing their fifth World Cup, Denamrk outplayed Peru by a solitary goal. in the second Group C fixture at the Mordovia Arena on Saturday.
Yussuf Poulsen scored the lone goal for Denmark in the 59th minute to notch up a close win.
Peru seemed to run the show all alone in the opening 17 minutes with Denmark hardly touching the ball. ‘La Blanquirroja’ had six shots during that period. But as the dust settled and the rampage stopped, Denmark gained more composure coming close once in the 39th minute before eventually scoring 20 minutes later. Christian Eriksen having squandered the earlier chance from a free-kick, found Poulsen on the left and the Leipzig forward did the rest ramming the ball into the net.
Sandwiched between those two chances for Denmark was a big penalty opportunity for Peru, which was not captilasied by Christian Cueva who hit it wide. It was at the brink of half-time and came after Poulsen had brought the former down. But the 27-year-old Cueva skied the resulting spot-kick, spurring a golden chance to hand Peru the lead.
Having quickly got into the act of making amends in the second-half, Cueva nearly earned two assists with consecutive balls to Edison Flores and Andre Carrillo. But while the latter shot wide off target, the former had only managed to sky it.
Flores came close again in the 61st minute shooting to his far right, where Denmark custodian Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a blinder bringing back memories of his father Peter. That shot was the last for the Aalborg winger and he was soon substituted for Peru legend Paolo Guerrero.
The former Bayern Munich striker’s introduction added a new lease of life to the game as he nearly scored from his first touch but was deemed offside and minutes later attempted a back heel, that went just wide of an unguarded goal.
If Peru’s substitute had such an impact, Denmark’s Mathias Jorgensen who replaced Andre Christensen nearly sealed the game. His powerful header was however kept out by Luis Advincula. Minutes later Eriksen shot straight at the Peru goalkeeper.
The South American side increased their tempo in the final 30 minutes but all went in vain as the ‘Dynamites’ held on, with Schmeichel now going 500+ minutes without conceding a goal. The defeat also meant Peru now remain winless in their past seven World Cup matches, with their last win coming against Iran in 1978.