Saransk, June 16: Denmark defeated Peru 1-0 in a Group C match of the FIFA World Cup at the Mordovia Arena here on Saturday.
Yussuf Poulsen scored the winner for Denmark in the 59th minute off an pass from Christian Eriksen. Christian Cueva missed a penalty for Peru just before half-time.
This is Peru's first World Cup appearance since 1982. Denmark had failed to qualify for the 2014 edition in Brazil.
The Peruvians, playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, launched fast attacks from the very beginning, making attempts at the goal three times within the first nine minutes. But the efforts didn't pay off in face of the strong Danish defence.
In the fifth minute, Peru's Luis Advincula shot wide after meeting a pass from teammate Renato Tapia. Just three minutes later, Yoshimar Yotun took a shot but the ball was confiscated by veteran goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark. A minute later, another attempt from the Peruvian side was again stopped by Schmeichel.
The best chance for Peru perhaps came at the last minute of the first half, as Christian Cueva was awarded a penalty kick after Video assistant referee (VAR) technology showed that he was fouled by Denmark's Yussuf Yurary. But his right-foot shot went over the bar.
The Danish, meanwhile, didn't have a good chance either in the first half. In the 32nd minute, William Kvist was forced off by injury. seven minutes later, Denmark got a free kick opportunity after Renato Tapia was given a yellow card.
Star striker Christian Eriksen kicked the ball wide and Lasse Schone followed with a shot but was saved by the Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
The Europeans struck the only goal of the game off a counter when Poulsen latched on to a long ball and swooped into the penalty box before firing past Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Desperate for the equaliser, the Peruvians went into attack mode and put sustained pressure on the Denmark goal.
But they were unable to breach Denmark's well organised defence despite coming close on several occassions, most notable a backheel by Paolo Guerrero off a pass from Cueva that went narrowly wide despite beating Denmark custodian Kasper Schmeichel. IANS