Kylian Mbappe’s first-half strike helped France overcome – and eliminate – a resilient Peru to earn a spot in the knockout round of the World Cup.
Ricardo Gareca’s side, buoyed on by their passionate support inside the Ekaterinburg Arena, came alive in the second half after falling behind in the 34th minute but ultimately could not find the equaliser that would have prevented their exit.
Monaco’s Mbappe was the player to punish the Peruvians when he tapped in Olivier Giroud’s deflected shot, coming after a period of France dominance.
But it was Peru who had the upper hand after the break. Midfielder Pedro Aquino went closest to levelling when his stunning strike cannoned off the bar.
Benfica’s Andre Carrillo, who was on loan at Watford last season, also tested Hugo Lloris’ goal with a strike while substitute Jefferson Farfan hooked his effort into the side-netting.
France’s defence remained resolute to the final whistle, although they have yet to convince fully that they are one of the favourites for title.