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Argentina advances to World Cup playoff, Denmark and France booed in Moscow

Final group stage games will be held on Wednesday
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates his team's victory in a First Stage Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina   Alexander Demianchuk/TASS
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates his team's victory in a First Stage Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina
© Alexander Demianchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. Two more pairs of the Round of 16 were determined on Day 13 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia: France will face Argentina in Kazan and Croatia will take on Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod on July 1.

Tuesday’s game schedule began at 17:00 Moscow time with Group C game between France and Denmark. The game at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium was attended by a crowd of 78,011 people. However, the audience was disappointed to see the tournament’s first goalless draw, which ended the record 36-match streak of at least one goal scored in each World Cup match.

Whistles and rumbling of discontent were heard at the stadium during the match. At the end of the game, the disappointed crowd met the final whistle with loud boos.

"We don’t need such football. This football is a shame. This is not a game. I feel pity for the fans," Local Organizing Committee Chairman Arkady Dvorkovich said.

In another match, Peru have defeated Australia 2-0 in their final FIFA World Cup group stage match, but both teams were eliminated from the tournament.

The opening goal was scored by Peru’s forward Andre Carrillo on the 18th minute. It was Peru’s first goal at world championships since 1982, when Guillermo La Rosa scored to Poland (1-5). Team Peru captain and the country’ best ever striker Paolo Guerrero (52 scoring strikes) netted on the 50th minute.

It was Peru’s first win at World Cup matches since 1978, when they hammered Iran 4-1. Now, with three points to their credit, Peru are number three in Group C. Australia are the last in the group with only one point.

Messi gets nervous

Three teams - Nigeria with three points, Argentina and Iceland with one point each - competed for one place in the playoff in two Group D games, both beginning at 21:00 Moscow time.

Already cleared for the playoffs, Croatia earned nine points in three games to top Group D. They will face Denmark, number two in Group C, in a Round of 16 match in Nizhny Novgorod on July 1.

The Iceland-Croatia battle, that saw the record attendance of 43,472 people in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, ended in Croatia’s 2:1 victory. The opening goal was scored by Croatia’s midfielder Milan Badelj on the 53rd minute. Iceland’s midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson equalized on the 75th minute. Croatia’s Ivan Perisic scored the winning goal on the 90th minute.

Another Group D team that will advance to the playoff was determined in a match between Argentina and Nigeria. The latter needed at least a draw to proceed to the knockout stage, but lost 1-2.

The opening goal and Russia 2018’s 100th was scored by Argentina’s Lionel Messi on the 14th minute. Nigeria’s Victor Moses levelled from the spot on the 49th minute. Ultimately, the winning goal was scored by Argentina’s Marcos Rojo on the 86th minute.

Final group stage games will be held on Wednesday. South Korea will face Germany in Kazan and Mexico will take on Sweden in Yekaterinburg at 17:00 Moscow time.

At 21:00 Moscow time, Serbia will clash with Brazil in Moscow’s Spartak stadium, and Sweden will face Costa Rica in Nizhny Novgorod.