World Cup day 13 in a nutshell: Argentina leave it late to join France, Denmark and Croatia into last 16

We round up Tuesday’s talking points from Russia as Argentina left it late to qualify for the last 16, joining France, Denmark and Croatia.

Each day during the tournament, we will be pulling together all the big stories and best reaction right here in a nutshell, so you do not miss a thing.

Here are the highlights from day 13 at the World Cup…

The reports

Denmark 0-0 France

France topped Group C while Denmark secured qualification to the last 16 of the World Cup with a dour 0-0 draw on Tuesday.

With Peru beating Australia in the other final Group C game, neither side overexerted themselves in Nizhny Novgorod, with the crowd regularly jeering the pedestrian nature of play.

The result brought the first goalless draw of the tournament in the 37th game, and France will now play their last 16 game in Kazan on Saturday against the second-placed side in Group D. Denmark are likely to face Croatia – favourites to top Group D – on Sunday in Nizhny.

Australia 0-2 Peru

Australia’s World Cup last-16 hopes were ended by a 2-0 defeat to Peru, who finished their tournament with a historic win.

The South Americans, who were yet to score in the tournament, went ahead from their first attack when Watford loanee Andre Carrillo’s textbook volley beat Mathew Ryan from 15 yards after 18 minutes.

Australia’s relentless pressure failed to forge any major openings before Peru doubled their lead, when a wild deflection found Paolo Guerrero in the Australia box, and another from his shot wrong-footed goalkeeper Ryan (50).

Nigeria 1-2 Argentina

Argentina squeezed into the World Cup last 16 after Marcos Rojo’s fine late volley gave them a 2-1 win over Nigeria in St Petersburg.

With Nigeria heading through in Group D with four minutes remaining, the Manchester United defender popped up to convert Mercado’s cross and send Jorge Sampaoli’s side through in dramatic fashion.

Needing a win to stand a chance of qualifying, Argentina went ahead through Messi (14), turning home from 10 yards at a slight angle after Ever Banega superbly found him from deep.

Messi then hit the post with a free-kick, but Nigeria were allowed a path into the game as Victor Moses slotted home a penalty (51) following Javier Mascherano’s tug on Leon Balogun’s shirt from a corner.

Iceland 1-2 Croatia

Iceland’s World Cup dream was ended by Ivan Perisic’s late winner in a 2-1 defeat to Croatia, who themselves topped Group D.

Shortly after half-time, Milan Badelj put Croatia in front with a textbook half-volley from Perisic’s cross.

Iceland continued to press and were rewarded with 15 minutes to go when Birkir Bjarnason’s cross was handled by Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who missed from the spot in his previous game, stepped up to smash a penalty into the top corner.

Needing only one more goal to progress after Argentina regained the lead against Nigeria, Iceland pressed for a winner but were caught out in injury time when Perisic brought the ball down on the left of the area and fired beyond Hannes Halldorsson to give them a perfect record in Group D.

Moment of the day

Argentina went into their game with Nigeria knowing they needed a win to give themselves a chance of qualifying and after a few ups and downs, that’s exactly what they did.

In the 86th minute, they were drawing 1-1 with the Super Eagles and on their way out of the World Cup, with Iceland and Croatia also level by the same scoreline.

Enter Marcos Rojo, who superbly volleyed home from Gabriel Mercado’s cross to send Argentina into the knockout rounds, and sparking scenes of wild celebrations in the Krestovsky Stadium and back at home.

Key quotes Tweet of the day

Could Arsene Wenger be the next Argentina manager?… These fans certainly hope so!

Lukaku has had a scan on the “external ligament” damage to his left foot suffered against Tunisia and Martinez says the striker requires another 24-48 hours to return to full training but has not been ruled out of featuring in Kaliningrad.

The German Football Association [DFB] has suspended two of their backroom staff following an angry exchange with the Swedish bench.

The pair will not be at Wednesday’s crunch World Cup clash against South Korea due to their actions during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sweden.

The prime minister of Albania has opened a bank account to allow his country’s people to offer their “symbolic contribution” to pay the fines levied against two Switzerland players.

The account, named “Don’t Be Afraid of the Eagle,” was opened at Raiffeisen Bank by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who urged Albanians “to pay FIFA’s absurd fine on Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.”

Switzerland defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, not of Albanian descent, also received a fine from FIFA but was not mentioned in Rama’s campaign.

Peru coach Ricardo Gareca refused to commit his future to the national team after they bowed out of the World Cup against Australia.

“Whether I continue or not depends on many factors,” he said. “There are times when you need to take stock personally and the Peruvian Football Federation also need to take stock.

“You need time to think things over with a cool head because the national team coach is a huge responsibility as you have an entire country on your shoulders for four years. To make that decision you need to be in a good place and analyse everything.”

But Hector Cuper has left his position as Egypt coach in the wake of their World Cup exit.

The Argentinian and his backroom staff have left their roles after their contracts expired following the 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Monday, the Egyptian Football Association confirmed to Press Association Sport.

Egpyt failed to register a point in Russia, losing their opening two Group A matches to Uruguay and the host nation.

And finally…

FIFA has announced that a new match ball will be used for the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup.

The Telstar Mechta will replace the Telstar 18, the Adidas ball which has been used throughout the group stage in Russia.

Mechta translates as “dream” in Russian and the ball comes with a new vivid red design, said to be inspired by the colours of the host nation as well as “the rising heat of knockout stage football”.

Source.