France looking for ‘knockout’ win against Peru
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France take on Peru on Thursday with qualification from Group C to the second phase within sight.
Following their opening day win over Australia, Didier Deschamps’ side can advance to the last 16 knockout stages with victory over Peru in Ekaterinburg.
And success against the South Americans will seal a landmark day for the France captain Hugo Lloris.
The 31-year-old makes his 100th appearance for his country. But he said the century of caps will have little significance if he and his teammates fail to win.
"It is great personal pride to reach this symbolic number,” said Lloris. “But I must say that it is secondary. We are in the midst of the World Cup and when you have the taste of it you know that you cannot find it elsewhere and have to enjoy it.
"The best way to enjoy it is to keep winning and that is important too for the dynamics of the team."
France went into the competition as one of the favourites for the title. But their 2-1 win over Australia in Kazan on 16 June was tortuous.
"I have played a World Cup before so I have felt the pressure before,” added Lloris. “Maybe that is different to my teammates. But we hope to play better against Peru and if we do not raise our levels against them we will have problems."
Peru were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to Denmark in their first game. Christian Cueva missed a first half penalty and there were several spurned opportunities before and after Yussuf Poulsen’s strike for the Scandanavians.
Ricardo Gareca’s men need at least a point from the encounter to have any hope of continuing in their first World Cup since 1982.
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