2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

Russia 2018

Croatia and France advance as Argentina fret

DAY REPLAYED – Following on from Uruguay and hosts Russia, 1998 FIFA World Cup™ winners France were the next team to rubberstamp their place in the Round of 16. They found the going tougher than expected against Peru, but were able to register a second win in as many games thanks to Kylian Mbappe's 34th-minute goal in a match in which goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris played his 100th international. The South Americans will pack their bags for home after their final Group C fixture against Australia on Tuesday, with nothing but pride at stake for Los Incas in that game.

By way of contrast, the Socceroos still have a glimmer of hope of reaching the knockout phase after picking up their first point at Russia 2018 in a draw with Denmark. Christian Eriksen broke the deadlock in the seventh minute, only for Mile Jedinak to equalise from the penalty spot shortly before the break. Australia now need to beat Peru and hope France overcome Denmark in order to have a chance of progressing to the last 16.

Croatia provided the biggest surprise of the day by beating Argentina. Ante Rebic opened the scoring in the 53rd-minute – thanks to a helping hand from Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero – before Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic rounded off a 3-0 victory to book Croatia's place in the last 16 for the first time since the golden generation of 1998.

The outlook is rather bleaker for Lionel Messi and Argentina, with the 2014 World Cup runners-up on the verge of elimination after collecting just one point from two games. The last time La Albiceleste failed to make it past the group stage was at Korea/Japan 2002.

Did you know?
The one millionth spectator went through the turnstiles at Russia 2018 in the first of today's matches. A further milestone was reached at the FIFA Fan Fests™ as the number of attendees surpassed the 2.5 million mark.

Friday's matches
Brazil – Costa Rica - Group E, St. Petersburg
Nigeria – Iceland - Group D, Volgograd
Serbia – Switzerland - Group E, Kaliningrad

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