The first goalless draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ has seen Denmark progress to the Round of 16, joining today’s opponents France – who top Group C ahead of the Danes.
With ten changes across the two sides, there was a certain lack of cohesion to each team’s play. Christian Eriksen went closest for the Danes on two occasions, either side of the interval. The first chance saw him denied by a combination of Steve Mandanda – the oldest French player to make his World Cup debut, aged 33 – and Lucas Hernandez. After the break, the No10 snatched at an opening after some nice build-up play.
France, for their part, looked largely uninspired – even with their talisman Antoine Griezmann starting up front. Kylian Mbappe made a late cameo, but his introduction could not break the deadlock.
Team Reporter Analysis
Svend Frandsen with Denmark
Danish coach Age Hareide had asked for a more calculating and more composed performance in terms of ball distribution going into this match. The French managed to create very few, if any, clear-cut opportunities even if the Danes were often forced to defend in numbers, and a goalless draw against Les Bleus will certainly have gone some way to silencing Hareide’s critics and given the Danes a vital boost in morale before the Round of 16.
Adrien Gingold with France [Follow: Twitter]
France finish first, as expected, but it’s likely the fans would have wanted more from this game. Perhaps not especially more of a show or some goals, but more intensity. Players will have to step up their game very quickly if they want to match their ambition and go far in this competition. Knockout matches will begin soon and a draw won’t be enough at that stage.
Budweiser Man of the Match
Ngolo Kante turned in another industrious performance in the French midfield to help ensure a second consecutive clean sheet of the tournament for Didier Deschamps’ side.
36 – games without a goalless draw at Russia 2018 before today’s 0-0 at the Luzhniki. The figure is a new World Cup record, smashing the previous record of 26 matches.
France v Runner-up Group D, Round of 16, 30 June, Kazan
Winner Group D v Denmark, Round of 16, 1 July, Nizhny Novgorod