Matches that line up today are:
Saturday, June 16
France vs. Australia (Group C): 11 a.m. BST/6 a.m. ET
Argentina vs. Iceland (Group D): 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET
Peru vs. Denmark (Group C): 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
Croatia vs. Nigeria (Group D): 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET
90′ + 5′ Stryger Larsen deflects Cueva’s latest cross into the box and puts it out for a throw-in. Peru aren’t going to have enough time to take it though; referee Gassama checks his watch and blows the final whistle!
90′ + 4′ Braithwaite concedes a corner now as he stops Carrillo from heading in; Schmeichel punches the set-piece clear after Peru swing it in.
90′ + 3′ Poulsen gets a booking now for a hefty tackle after he tries to check another speedy break from Guerrero.
90′ + 3′ Aquino wins a free-kick after a push from Poulsen way back in the back right corner of his own half; Peru have a massive task to take themselves downfield now.
90′ + 1′ Cueva! He lofts a great ball across the face of the Danish goal, looking for either Carrillo or Ruidiaz; neither manage to land a touch however as the former slips and the latter arrives late, with a goal-kick the end result.
90′ Five added minutes are on the way in Saransk.
89′ Ruidiaz is pinged for handball in the Denmark box as he tries to control a short pass from Cueva and Peru concede the free-kick.
87′ Tapia has been one of Peru’s stronger performers today, and he is the final man to be subbed in this game; Pedro Aquino is on off the bench.
86′ Delaney gets a booking now as he lands a hefty tackle on Guerrero to prevent a potential counter-attack from Peru.
86′ Stop from Gallese! Eriksen almost makes it a Danish double, were it not for a brilliant sliding save from the Peru keeper. Under five now, plus injury time.
85′ It will be Farfan’s last act today too; Raul Ruidiaz replaces him after a somewhat disappointing showing.
84′ Farfan! The striker puts a wonderful shot on from 15 yards as he cleanly strikes a cut-back from Carrillo – and Schmeichel manages to stick a leg out to block it and send it flying off into open play. Peru are frantically pressing for an equaliser.
82′ Jorgensen sees a close-range effort blocked by Rodriguez after Ramos cheaply gives away the ball on the edge of the Peru box. A second goal for Denmark will put this game out of reach for Peru with less than 10 minutes on the clock, you would feel.
81′ Christensen has played is part for Denmark today with a fine all-round performance – but now he makes way for Zanka as his side’s last change of the game.
80′ Yotun clips a long ball down the left wing seeking Carrillo; almost instantly, the latter is flagged for offside by the linesman.
78′ Guerrero just misses! The Peru captain’s backheel off the back of a Cueva pass into the box brushes past the wrong side of the right post, with Schmeichel unable to cover it. That could have been the equaliser.
77′ Denmark have now scored 28 goals across their five World Cup appearances combined – and every single one of them has been netted from inside the box.
75′ A pause in play now for Tapia to get treatment after Kjaer clattered him leaping for a high ball in the Peru box.
73′ Advincula, who has had an unassuming match for Peru, launches a 20-yard strike from the right at Schmeichel after stepping inside two defenders that the keeper bobbles before recovering. Denmark have had a lot thrown at them in the last 10 minutes.
71′ Carillo tips another ball across the face of Denmark’s goal; Poulsen, as a makeshift defender, manages to head it away from a lurking Trauco with a fantastic leap.
69′ That could have been all square! Cueva’s free-kick is cleared back to him by the Danish defence and his second effort is headed towards the left post by Rodriguez; neither Farfan or Carrillo can bundle it in though as it goes out for a goal-kick.
68′ Free-kick to Peru now, 35 yards out as Cueva is brought down by Delaney. It will be the Sao Paulo man who will take it…
67′ Sisto is the second man to depart for Denmark, after a rather quiet showing; Bordeaux forward Martin Braithwaite is his replacement.
64′ Guerrero with the header! The captain gets right into the thick of things from the off as he pops up in the Denmark box to plant an effort towards Schmeichel off the back of a Carrillo cross. Peru are already playing with a little more zip since his introduction.
62′ The roar from around the stadium tells you all you need to know about Peru’s first change; captain Paolo Guerrero makes his World Cup bow as he replaces Flores, to a round of applause. He is caught offside with his first touch of the game – but will he give his side a spring in their step after going a goal down?
61′ What a save from Schmeichel! Cueva looks to create an instant response with a break of his own from the restart and he lays up a lovely pass for Flores on the left of the box; the Aalborg BK man sees his fine strike deflected by the keeper with speedy reflexes. Great chance for Peru.
59′ Eriksen’s break and delivery of that ball was inch-perfect, a fabulous assist from the Spurs star. Denmark have probably just edged Peru on the whole across the game so far; that goal gives them a just lead.
59′ POULSEN SCORES! DENMARK LEAD 1-0 AGAINST PERU! A fantastic break from Eriksen down the centre of the field cuts open the opposition defence and a neat flick-on to the left releases the Leipzig forward into space where he duly drills under Gallese from 10 yards out on the left. 1-0 to Denmark just shy of the hour!
57′ What a chance that was for Peru! Cueva is slipped in on the left wing and he twists himself back through the box before squaring a ball to Carrillo on the right of the box – and the winger falls over the ball, unable to strike it cleanly. A belated offside flag comes up, but even so, that could have been the undoing of the Danish.
55′ Poulsen is flagged for offside heading down the right flank as he takes in a long ball lofted deep from Schone within his own half.
53′ It’s poor from the Spurs man in the end; his set-piece goes straight to Ramos on the six-yard line and a second attempt to go for goal is speared both wide and high by some distance.
52′ Trauco gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position for Peru, as he fouls Poulsen on the edge of his own box. Denmark within 20 yards of goal here, out wide on the right; Eriksen will take.
50′ Cueva slots a great ball through a napping Denmark back-four to create a counter-attack for Peru as Farfan races after it; the striker’s attempt to shoot as he canters into the right box is foiled though, with Christensen getting himself back in time to block.
48′ Jorgensen tries to hook back a long cross tipped across the box by Delaney to the right; he can’t bring it back in and regardless would have been offside if he had. Goal-kick to Peru.
46′ We’re back underway for the second half in Saransk and Peru are straight out of the blocks, with Trauco and Yotun threading together a speedy attack down the left wing before Dalsgaard intercepts and creates a counter for Denmark back down the same channel.
With eight shots to Denmark’s five, Peru have had the better chances so far, including a wonderful shot from Andre Carrillo that Schmeichel did good to save. But with no goals on the board yet, Ricardo Gareca must be thinking about introducing his captain Paolo Guerrero in the near future, despite a lack of match fitness. Will the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer rise to their rescue in the second half? We’ll find out soon enough.
Christian Cueva’s late penalty miss is the main takeaway from the opening 45 minutes in Saransk as Peru and Denmark remain on level pegging in a goalless encounter. Belatedly awarded by VAR after a Yussuf Poulsen challenge, the Sao Paulo playmaker put his effort from 12 yards over the crossbar after sending Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way, afrer a first half that saw his team start stronger and subsequently fade under pressure from Christian Eriksen’s side. It hangs nicely in the balance at the Mordovia Arena in Group C; at half-time, it’s Peru 0-0 Denmark.
45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: PERU 0-0 DENMARK
45′ + 1′ Cueva misses! The Peru midfielder stutters in his run-up, sends Schmeichel to the left – and duly blasts it over the crossbar by a good few metres. What an awful penalty; Denmark’s small but vocal support celebrate. Two added minutes incoming.
44′ VAR penalty review! Cueva goes down in the box, as Poulsen glances by him and at first look, the Peru man appeared to simply slip over the ball as he turned. After a moment though, Gassama stops the game for a look – and awards the penalty! The Peru fans in the crowd go mental; Denmark could feel somewhat unlucky with that decision. It will be Cueva who takes too…
43′ Ramos snakes his way down the right wing for Peru but loses the ball after a moment with a poor pass. The defender appears to be limping a bit; is he carrying a knock?
41′ Delaney turns an excellent ball in from the right looking for Poulsen; the midfielder can’t get his head to it again though and Peru surive the danger after Denmark caught their defence out at the back.
40′ Peru tear down the other end and Farfan pops a shot on Schmeichel from close range; the effort is stopped, but regardless, Denmark are awarded a free-kick for the striker sending Stryger Larsen tumbling in the build-up.
39′ What a stop from Gallese! Eriksen’s free-kick only finds the defensive wall of Peru and rebounds into open play where Schone picks it out with a fantastic low strike from 30 yards or so; the keeper drops low to deflect it and then manages to gather after a nerve-shredding moment where it bounced away from him.
38′ Free-kick to Denmark on the edge of Peru’s penalty area! On the centre-right side, Tapia drags a leg across the front of Sisto and bodychecks him for good measure; referee Gassama brandishes a yellow card in his direction as a result. Eriksen to take…
37′ Jorgensen looks to capture an Eriksen long ball blasted deep into the Peru half from the right wing; Ramos traps him offside though and the free-kick goes to Peru.
36′ It’s a sad end to the game for Kvist as he is taken off via stretcher; Lasse Schone is the man who takes his place for Denmark.
34′ A little stat for you whilst we wait for play to resume; Peru last featured in a World Cup at Spain 1982, with the gap of 36 years between participation the largest for any side competing at Russia.
32′ There’s a stoppage in play now as Kvist gets treatment on the ground following an accidental knee to the ribs in a high ball challenge from Farfan.
30′ Workmanlike defending from Denmark does the job and after winning themselves a throw-in on the right touchline, Peru are forced to peel back and regroup around halfway following pressure from Kvist and Sisto.
29′ Farfan! Fed a beauty of a through-ball by Carrillo, the Peru striker is denied by Christensen who slides in to block his close-range shot on the right and put it out for a corner.
27′ Delaney goes close! The Borussia Dortmund man blasts just over the crossbar from 30 yards out under pressure from Tapia, going the closest of any Denmark player so far.
26′ Second time is not the charm for Denmark either; Eriksen gets a second bite after his initial effort is cleared, and he duly blasts his cross deep and out of play by the left post.
25′ Eriksen flicks it in looking for Poulsen; the Denmark man just misses with his header and instead Tapia clears it out for another corner.
24′ Ramos outmuscles Christensen as they challenge for a ball just inside the Peru box, but the defender concedes a corner instead.
22′ Peru deliver a free-kick from 40 yards out on the right into the box, looking for Farfan or Carrillo; though Denmark put the ball out themselves through Kvist at the left post, they win a free-kick as their opponents are flagged for offside.
20′ Sisto looks to play a crossfield ball into the box for Jorgensen as Denmark string together a rare attack; he only puts it into the path of Ramos at the back who sparks a counter for Peru.
19′ Denmark may have not conceded since that 5-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland in November; but with six shots already, Peru are seriously threatening that clean sheet record in 2018.
17′ Block by Kjaer! Carrillo once more finds himself in space out on the right wing after Cueva supplies him with a slick pass; the winger puts the ball into the legs of the Denmark captain as he tries to steer it towards goal from just inside the box.
16′ A superb slide tackle now from Christensen denies Carrillo’s latest break down the right as he hooks himself around the ball at the very edge of the box and earns his side a goal-kick following the Peru man’s botched follow-up attempt to regain possession.
15′ Rodriguez plants a header on the set-piece swung in from the left and steers it wide to the right by some distance; Denmark are left unruffled by that effort.
14′ Taoia becomes the latest Peru man to go for goal; he sees an effort from 25 yards out on the left take a deflection off Kjaer and Denmark give away the corner.
13′ Carrillo! Save from Schmeichel to deny the Benfica winger after he cuts a wonderful path in from the right, past three defenders into the box and drills towards the far post; the Leicester City goalkeeper pushes it away from danger.
11′ Flores goes for goal for Peru from just outside the box on the right and pushes it wide to the near-top corner off his left foot under pressure from Stryger Larsen.
10′ Yotun concedes a free-kick after clipping Eriksen on halfway; from it, Denmark are able to encroach into the Peru box, only to give away a foul of their own when Poulsen pushes Trauco in the back.
9′ Flores and Trauco combine down the left edge for Peru again and the latter fires a cross in looking for Farfan as he slips into the six-yard box; Schmeichel nips in between the ball and man to pick it out of the air.
8′ Yotun lets fly with an effort from 35 yards out on the left, sending it sailing towards goal; it dips just as Schmeichel crouches and the Danish keeper collects it without trouble.
6′ Another free-kick for Peru now, this one closer to halfway as Farfan is clipped by Dalsgaard with a touch of the boot. They are unable to push forward off it though, and Denmark cart it away downfield through Kvist.
4′ Peru win themselves a free-kick as Rodriguez goes down near the edge of his own box attempting to defend a move from Poulsen, who was looking to slip a pass in for Sisto.
2′ Carrillo takes a leisurely stroll down the right wing before crossing in for Peru; a flurry of half-chances drift away from Farfan and Flores as they both exchange headers around the Denmark box.
1′ We are underway in this Group C clash! Eriksen kicks off for Denmark, in an all-red strip and he immediately flicks it on long; Ramos punts it back downfield for Peru, who play in white with a red stripe.
The anthems are over and we’re moments away from kick-off. The referee today is Bakary Gassama, of The Gambia; he takes charge in his second World Cup after a pair of games in Brazil 2014.
The teams are out at the Mordovia Arena for the national anthems. Several thousand Peru fans have travelled the 8,000 miles to get to Russia for this opening game of their campaign; the noise coming from the South American contingent is deafening.
Both sides have made it to the quarter-finals on one previous occasion – Peru at the aforementioned Mexico 1970 and Denmark twenty years ago in France – but otherwise it is the latter with the superior record; they have won eight games at the World Cup previously whilst the former have only mustered four, and none since Argentina 1978.
Likewise, Denmark also make their fifth showing at the World Cup in Russia, returning for the first time since South Africa 2010, having drubbed Republic of Ireland 5-1 across a two-legged play-off to progress. Coach Age Hareide takes charge of his first major tournament; can the Norwegian become the only the second manager to take the Danish past the round of 16 after Bo Johansson in 1998?
One of the 13 original participants in the inaugural competition, in Uruguay 1930, Peru are making their fifth appearance at the World Cup, after defeating New Zealand in an inter-federation play-off to qualify. Boss Ricardo Gareca makes his first showing as manager; having previously guided his team to the semi-finals and quarter-finals of the Copa America in 2015 and 2016, can he lift his team through the group stages for the first time since they reached the last eight in Mexico 1970?
Guerrero’s place in the Peru side for Russia has been one of the longer-running sagas in the build-up to the World Cup; the Flamengo striker was expected to miss the tournament after being banned for testing positive for cocaine in October 2017, something he strenuously denied and attributed instead to coco-infused tea. Initially banned for 12 months, then reduced to six, then raised back to 14, it took a Swiss Federal Tribunal temporarily lifting it in May for the duration of the tournament that has allowed him to feature for the national team.
Subs: Viktor Fischer, Kasper Dolberg, Michael Krohn-Dehli, Martin Braithwaite, Jonas Lossl, Andreas Cornelius, Frederik Ronnow, Jonas Knudsen, Lukas Lerager, Jannik Vestergaard, Zanka, Lasse Schone
DENMARK (4-5-1): Kasper Schmeichel; Simon Kjaer, Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Christensen, Henrik Dalsgaard; Yussuf Poulsen, Christian Eriksen, William Kvist, Pione Sisto, Thomas Delaney; Nicolai Jorgensen
Subs: Wilder Cartagena, Andy Polo, Jose Carvallo, Miguel Araujo, Paolo Hurtado, Raul Ruidíaz, Carlos Caceda, Paolo Guerrero, Pedro Aquino, Aldo Corzo, Anderson Santamaría, Nilson Loyola
PERU (4-5-1): Pedro Gallese; Christian Ramos, Miguel Trauco, Luis Advincula, Alberto Rodriguez, Edison Flores, Andre Carrillo, Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotun, Christian Cueva; Jefferson Farfan
As for Denmark, they will be looking to Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen to fire them to victory in Saransk; the midfielder netted 11 times and assisted three more throughout the qualifiers for the World Cup, being directly involved in 56 percent of the side’s goals. He lines up in a 4-5-1 formation too, alongside William Kvist; only one of two domestic-based players in the squad.
Team news ahead of kick-off and after all the drama surrounding Paolo Guerrero’s participation in this World Cup, the Peru captain and record goalscorer is named on the bench. Alberto Rodriguez takes the armband in the starting XI for Ricardo Gareca’s outfit; Lokomotiv Moscow striker Jefferson Farfan starts up front in a 4-5-1 formation.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Peru and Denmark meet in the second game of Group C at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. The two teams face off for the first time in their history for their opening tie of the tournament – and with pundits tipping one or the other alongside Australia to progress with France to the knockout stages, who will be able to kick their campaign into action with a win today?