World Cup Review: Match 3 for Groups C & D

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Another emotional finish occurred as groups C and D played their last matches of Russia 2018. Group C saw three teams vying for two spots, while all four of Group D’s nations were still mathematically alive! Our World Cup Review looks back at who moves on, and who’s heading home!

Group C:

Group C’s last matchday in the 2018 World Cup had three teams in contention for two spots, but the fixtures made for quite a boring finish. First place France played second place Denmark; while third place Australia played already eliminated Peru. Australia needed a win and for Denmark to lose to advance. The stage was set for some drama, but the result was anything but drama.

Australia: 0 Peru: 2

In a game where Australia needed to win, they were completely outplayed by a very strong Peruvian side. Peru may have already been eliminated, but were playing to give their countryman the pride of winning a match at the World Cup. In the 18th minute, Peru created a great opportunity!

A ball was played into the box, six Australian’s were back to defend. To find an avenue through the slew of defenders the ball was played to the opposite side of the box. André Carrillo ran to meet the ball, and instead of finding a way behind the defense, he hit the ball on the volley. He struck the ball using his bodies momentum to bend it around the keeper to the far post. Carrillo’s strike gave Peru the early lead! Australia pushed for the equalizer but could not find it, the half ended 1-0 Peru.

As the second half started Peru looked to put the last nail in Australia’s coffin. Five minutes into the half, they found it! Some quick buildup play found Paolo Guerrero in the box. The striker had his back to goal, but twisted himself as he ran onto the ball to get a shot away! Guerrero’s chance had just enough on it to beat Australia’s keeper. At 2-0  the game died. Australia had a few chances to get one back, but showed no killer instinct. The game ended 2-0.

The result meant that Australia were knocked out of the World Cup joining Peru!

Highlights:

France: 0 Denmark: 0

In what was probably the most disappointing match of the World Cup group stage, first place France took on second place Denmark. Denmark knew that a draw would be enough for them to go through to the knockout round, should Australia lose. This match was played at the same time as Australia vs Peru to try to keep every game competitive. However, the news of Peru’s early goal made its way to Denmark which was evident by their style of play.

Denmark sat back and allowed France to take the game to them. France fielded a side without a few of their starters to give them rest, so the normally clinical/scary French offense was lacking. As the game went to the half 0-0. It was clear what Denmark was going to do for the rest of the match.

While there were some attacking sequences by both sides in the second half, Denmark were content to sit back. Hearing about Peru’s second goal over Australia, Denmark wanted to finish second in their group. Many have seen that the side of the knockout stage bracket that the runners-up of C would be placed in as the easier side of the bracket. Therefore, Denmark sat back, and waited for the final whistle. To give some credit to France, they did try to find a winner, but were unable to get past the 10 Danish defenders who were behind the ball! This one ended 0-0 (the first 0-0 tie of this World Cup)

This result meant France would win the group and Denmark would finish second!

Highlights:

Standings:

A drama-less final match day saw only one nation move in the standings. France and Denmark stayed in the top two spots advancing to the Round of 16! Peru’s 2-0 win over Australia saw the Socceroos finish in last place, and Peru move up to third.

France will go on to play the runners-up of Group D in the Round of 16 , while Denmark play the Group D winners in the Round of 16!

Group D:

Group D has been a roller coaster ride in the first two matchdays. Matchday three would follow suit! Before the match, Croatia knew they were through to the knockout rounds. They took on Iceland, who needed to win by a lot and hope for an Argentina-Nigeria draw. Argentina and Nigeria went head-to-head knowing that if either could find a win, they’d advance!

Nigeria: 1 Argentina: 2

Argentina have looked like a shell of themselves in their first two matches. They know that they would need to find a win in their final match to advance. Nigeria started the tournament slow, but grew in confidence through their second match win. This match was setup to produce fireworks and it did just that!

Early on Argentina were on the front foot. Lionel Messi showed his class. A long ball was sent Messi’s way, he allowed it to fall onto his thigh, then played it with his left foot forward into the box. He then waited for the perfect moment to shoot and placed a shot with his right foot into the left corner of the net! Argentina led 1-0 after only 13 minutes! Later on in the first half Messi hit the post off a free kick. The half would end 1-0 for Argentina.

At the start of the second half Nigeria awoke. Just three minutes in A Nigerian corner came into the box. To stop a header, Argentina fouled in the box. A penalty was called, a review was had, and a penalty was awarded to Nigeria! Victor Moses stepped up and converted! Nigeria were back in it and controlled the game going forward.

As the game went on it was clear that Nigeria needed to hold on to advance, and Argentina needed to score a second to advance! Argentina were feeling the pressure. Chance after chance after chance came in, but no goal was found. Then in the 86th minute an unlikely player stepped up for Argentina.

Center back Marcos Rojo moved forward in the dying minutes and found open space in the box. A ball was played in towards him, and Rojo hit it first time and found the net! Argentina found the lead and held it for the win, 2-1!

This result puts Argentina through, and eliminates Nigeria!

Highlights:

Iceland: 1 Croatia: 2

Everyone’s favorite underdog Iceland, needed to find a huge win over Croatia and in the first half it looked like they just might be able to do so. Iceland had the majority of chances, and were inches wide multiple times from taking the lead. unfortunately for them, it was 0-0 at the half, and then it got worse for Iceland!

Just 7 minutes into the second half Milan Badelj found Croatia’s opening goal. Iceland now had to rally to get through to the knockout round. Some more chances missed seemed to doom to doom Iceland’s hopes, then they got a boost in the 75th minute.

A penalty was called, and Gylfi Sigurðsson stepped up and put the chance home. While a draw would not help them advance Iceland was back in the game looking for their first World cup victory. Croatia stepped their game up after losing their lead.

The Croatian side wanted to have a perfect group stage campaign, so they took the game to Iceland. In the 90th minute their persistence paid off. A ball was played into the box for Ivan Perišić who coolly took a touch and then powered a shot over the keeper! Croatia found their win, and Iceland tasted defeat as the game ended 2-1.

This result meant that Croatia had a perfect group campaign, and won the group, while Iceland bowed out of their first ever World Cup finals.

Highlights:

Standings:

In a topsy-turvy group D there was much Drama. Croatia showed their dominance beating everyone. Argentina snuck into the knockout rounds edging off Nigeria who showed really well. Iceland will always remember their first World Cup, holding the great Lionel Messi and Argentina to a tie!

Argentina will go on to play the winners of Group C, France, in the Round of 16, while Croatia play the Group D runners-up, Denmark in the Round of 16!

Here’s how Group’s C and D will meet in the knockout round:

Group C winners, France, take on Group D runners-up, Argentina, on Saturday, June 30th at 10 am EST. Group D winners, Croatia, will play Group C runners-up, Denmark, on Sunday July 1st, at 2 pm EST!

More action to come!

As the tournament roles on, we will continue our reviews! Come back Tomorrow for a review of Match 3 for Groups E and F! Catch all the games on Fox or Telemundo! Replays of matches are also available on the FoxSportsGO App!

Check out these matches or replays  of today’s matches:

South Korea vs Germany (Group E) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App

Mexico vs Sweden (Group E) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App

Serbia vs Brazil (Group F) – 2pm – Fox/Telemundo

Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group F) – 2pm – Fox/Telemundo

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Mandatory Credit: Sipa USA-USA TODAY Sports

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