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France beat Peru 1-0 to enter World Cup pre-quarters

Mbappe’s 34th-minute strike from close range was the lone goal scored in the match at the Ekaterinburg Arena as Peru’s hopes to reach the second round after suffering second consecutive loss.

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Kylian Mbappe France

Yekaterinburg (Russia), June 21 (IANS) Kylian Mbappe became France’s youngest goal-scorer in FIFA World Cup history as they beat Peru 1-0 in a Group C match here on Thursday to enter the pre-quarterfinals.

Mbappe’s 34th-minute strike from close range was the lone goal scored in the match at the Ekaterinburg Arena as Peru’s hopes to reach the second round after suffering second consecutive loss. Peru are with zero points, while Denmark are second with four points.

France, who were criticised for their style of play during their 2-1 win over Australia, top the table with six points and will meet Denmark in their third and final group stage game.

Against Peru, France did well not to leave their qualification to the game against Denmark, who were held 1-1 by Australia earlier in the day.

Didier Deschamps-coached France, who switched to a 4-2-3-1 with the inclusion of striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who played in an offensive role, saw the midfield coordinating well with the attack, which aided their fluid game.

Left-back Lucas Hernandez moved up and down to give an extra member in their attacking build-up as the team began to question Peru’s defence from the beginning.

Midfielder Paul Pogba launched a long-range effort from 30 yards out which forced goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to dive to his right to ensure that the ball goes wide of the left post in the 12th minute.

Two minutes later, Raphael Varane’s header off a corner missed the target by a slight margin, going wide of the right post.

Gallese then blocked a right-footed drive from Antoine Griezmann after Giroud brought down an aerial ball from the deep in the 17th minute.

Peru took time to get some good touches in the game. Veteran centre-forward Paolo Guerrero, who returned to the starting line-up after missing the Denmark game in place of Jefferson Farfan, had a left-footed shot on goal from around 12 yards out in thr 29th minute but France keeper Hugo Lloris was alert.

However, the pace and quick passing of France meant they they could turn it on at any moment. And they did with lethal impact, five minutes later. Following a through ball from Pogba, Giroud’s left-footed drive from the left side of the box deflected past defender Christian Ramos, beating Gallese, who moved towards the right post. Mbappe raced to tap it in to give France a crucial lead.

After the break, Peru made their intention clear by substituting midfielder Yoshimar Yotun with forward Farfan, while full-back Alberto Rodrigues was replaced by central defender Anderson Santamaria in order to provide more pace and width.

Peru almost got their equaliser when a 30-yard piledriver from Pedro Aquino flew inches away from the left post.

Peru employed further pressure on the French team but the latter showed its resolve and composure, especially in its own box.

Long-range drives from Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula went over the cross-bar as a desperate Peru continue to hunt for their equaliser.

Another good movement from Peru saw Carrillo crossing from the right to left for Farfan, but his header could only hit the side-netting.

France managed to hold to their slim advantage as Peru lacked quality in finishing.

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Diego Maradona’s personal doctor under investigation

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

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Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona’s personal doctor, is under investigation in Argentina over the football legend’s death.He has been named by prosecutors in San Isidro, in Buenos Aires, and the judge has ordered for the doctor’s house and clinic to be searched, with 30 police officers at each site.

There is a suspicion of medical negligence in the final days of Maradona’s life and, therefore, a potential culpable homicide.It has been claimed that Maradona didn’t have the medical permission to leave the clinic where he had surgery for a subdural hematoma earlier in November. But, he did leave on November 11 to return to his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

This legal investigation could go on for some time as the prosecutors look to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the final hours of Maradona’s life.

They’ll look to work out if he had permission to be at home, why there wasn’t a specialist doctor present 24/7, why there wasn’t an ambulance at the house, if he had the right medicine, if the general medical protocols were followed, why there wasn’t a defibrillator in the house and how the final hours were managed.

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India vs Australia: We were ineffective with the ball: Virat Kohli

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

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Virat Kohli

Sydney: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that the team was ineffective with the ball on Sunday and outplayed by Australia in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground which they lost by 51 runs.

A second consecutive 62-ball century from Steve Smith helped Australia reach 389/4 and India were restricted to 338/9.

“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well,” said Kohli after the match.

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

“The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would have taken the required rate up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference,” said Kohli.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled four overs and got the wicket of Smith. “Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could’ve gotten us across the line with Hardik to come,” said Kohli.

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India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

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Steve Smith

Sydney: Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The hosts have thus sealed victory in the three-match series, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Chasing a mammoth target of 390, India were restricted to 338/9 after another century from Steve Smith took Australia to 389/4 batting first.

India started with a 58-run stand between openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair departed within a few balls of each other after which captain Virat Kohli anchored the middle order. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship for the visitors and just as they were looking to shift gears, the latter fell to Moises Henriques thanks to a stunning catch by Smith at deep midwicket.

Kohli soldiered on with KL Rahul at other end before falling to a brilliant catch, this time by Henriques himself, at midwicket again off Josh Hazlewood. Kohli made 89 off 87 balls, putting up partnerships of 93 with Iyer and 72 with Rahul.

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

Earlier, Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls, reaching three figures in just 62 balls for the second consecutive time in this series. He put up 136 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, which was the second century partnership for Australia in the match after the 142-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner.

Smith finally fell to Pandya, who was handed the ball for the first time since making his comeback from a back injury after which Glenn Maxwell smashed 63 off 29 balls to take Australia within 11 runs of the 400-run mark.

The third and final ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Aus 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Mohammed Shami 1/73) vs Ind 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76; Pat Cummins 3/67).

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