Group C of the FIFA World Cup held France-Australia, and Peru-Denmark matches. After the French team beat Australia(2-1), the focus fell to the other match. On the basis of FIFA ranking, played the number 11th (Peru) against the 12th (Denmark) place. It was suggestive of the fact that it would be a close match. The Mordovia Arena in Saransk was fulled, there was 40 502 viewer in the stadium.
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Peru(4-2-3-1) : Gallese-Advincula-Rodriguez-Ramos-Trauco-Tapia(Aquino,’87.)-Yotun-Carrillo-Cuevas-Flores(Guerrerro,’62.)-Farfan(Ruidiaz,’85.) Coach: Ricardo Gareca
Denmark(4-2-3-1): Schmeichel-Dalsgaard-Kjäer-Christensen(Martin Jörgensen, ’81.)-Larsen-Kvist(Schöne,’35.-injury)-Delaney-Poulsen-Eriksen-Sisto(Braithwaite,’67.)-Jörgensen
Scorer(s): Poulsen(’59.) Coach: Agie Hareide
Yellow card: Tapia(’38); Delaney(’86), Poulsen(’93)
Referee: Bakary Gassama
The Danish setup:
The Danes’ defense was a stable 4-2-3-1, which sometimes changed to 4-4-2. In that situation Eriksen moved next to Jörgensen and waited for the Peru players to attack, approx. 35 metres from the Peruvian goal. The Danish team was disciplined. When the Peruvians had the ball on the danish half, the defenders were located deep, in front of the box, and the distance between the two fullbacks was in total 20 metres. The two defensive midfielders, Kvist and Delaney, sometimes were 5 metres from the defensive line, and the two wingers connected to them. Sisto and Poulsen worked incredible hard, always moving back with the Peruvian fullbacks. The Danes were compact and narrow.
However the Peruvians started the match better, in the first quarter there were four attempts, with two on target, and on Carrillo’s attempt, Schmeichel had to be positioned well to make the save. After the first quarter, the balance of power was stable and equal. The Danish were braver. The fullbacks sometimes moved to the middle of the Peruvian half. The wingers moved to inside, next to Jörgensen, and from above stepped back to ask the ball.
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On the above illustration is seen this, between the two fullbacks, Larsen moved more further forward. Sisto moved back, and distracted the attention of Carrillo and Advincula, thereby Larsen could move to the empty place. Sisto and Larsen made this move more than once, but there were only a few times when they could get behind the Peruvian defensive line. On the other wing Daalsgard didn’t step above, so Poulsen, instead, moved back, moving to outside again. Maybe that is why, Eriksen played from the right side, and a little deeper, that created place to the wingers between the Peruvian defensive and midfield line. In the first half there was no chance in front of Eriksen and yet he was able to create and fashion chances for himself and his teammates.
The match was balanced but before the half time something happened. In the danish box Poulsen fouled Cueva and the referee judged it to be a penalty. However Cueva missed. There was a question, whether what impact will be the missed penalty on the Peruvian team?
None, it was my feeling. The second half went as the teams stopped the first. Two stable and disciplined team came out to the pitch on the second half, the Peruvian team was again a bit adventurous. But the first and single goal was scored by the Danes, somewhat against the run of play. A few minutes before the goal, the Peruvians missed their chance to score a goal. Cueva, who moved to the Danish box, got a ball and after the dribbling passed to Carrillo, who couldn’t shoot, took the ball in front of Flores. Flores attempted a shot, but the ball avoided the goal. It looked like the Peruvians couldn’t beat themselves. They played pleasing football, but couldn’t gain advantage.
Before the goal, the following happened. The Peruvians got the ball in midfield and moved forward in transitions, having effected the turnover. On the below picture is seen, that there was in front of the box Cueva, behind him, Farfan. On the left side Flores, and the defensive midfielder Yotun arrived. On the right side there were Carrillo with the ball and Advincula stepped above. Carrillo had two potential ways forward- pass to Advincula or dribbling inside. The Danes closed back. Larsen looked for Advincula, Delaney and Sisto created two against one situation with Carrillo. Carrilo decided that try to dribbling inside, but Delaney and Sisto tackled him. The Peruvians ran themselves away and left them open for the swift counter, short of personnel at the back.
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On the next picture is seen, that 3 attacker stayed above, Yotun closed back next to Tapia. However the two Peruvian defensive midfielders tried to prevent the Danes bringing out the ball from their half. That is why Yotun and Tapia were placed next to the two danish defensive midfielder, when Sisto got the ball. Thereby, in front of the Peruvians’ defensive line there was a huge empty place, which from the two defensive midfielder forgot. Advincula attacked Sisto, but Sisto could pass to Eriksen, who moved to the empty place. Seven Peruvian players were left behind, with Eriksen carrying the ball in the counter in the opposite half.
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Eriksen could lead attack with Jörgensen and Poulsen against in total 3 defender. The danes played easy way the 3-against-3 situation with one pass. But the move of Ramos was necessary for the goal, he stepped out at bad moment to Eriksen, whom had a chance that pass to Poulsen between Rodriguez and Ramos. Poulsen scored and Denmark won the match. The Peruvians had only themselves to blame, because before the goal they had played disciplined and attractive football. And the other side, the Danes can be proud of themselves, because they exploited the first Peruvian mistake.
There were more attempts in the last half an hour and the Peruvian team became a sympathetic loser. Hardly after the goal could Peru equalilize, but Flores missed. Then few minutes later the Peruvian’s coach sent Guerrero in the pitch, who got involved doping scandal before the WC. It was expected, that the Peruvians tried their best to gain at least one point. But in spite of Guerrero’s heelshoot, and Farfan shoot on target, the Peruvians couldn’t equalize. There was two Danish attempts, too. But first time missed Jörgensen, than Gallese protected nicely from the Eriksen attempt. It was a great match to watch with two contrasting styles on display.