Kasper Schmeichel has drawn Peru’s once-in-a-generation party to a grinding halt.
The Denmark goalkeeper shined Saturday in his team’s 1-0 win over Peru in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group C game. Peru enjoyed narrow advantages in possession and scoring-chance creation, but Schmeichel kept Los Incas off the board with a number of spectacular saves. His teammate, Yussuf Poulsen, scored the game-winner in the second half. Denmark now joins France atop Group C with three points after one game.
Peru started the game better than Denmark but failed to capitalize on its early control. The South Americans looked like they would score just before halftime when Yurary tripped Nelson Cuevas inside Denmark’s penalty area, and the video assistant referee awarded a spot kick.
However, conventional soccer wisdom discourages players from taking penalty kicks they draw, and Cuevas’ ballooned effort in the 44th minute is the latest example of this curse.
Denmark improved after the interval, and Yurary finished off the Danes’ clinical counter-attack in the 59th minute.
Peru stormed forward in search of the tying goal, but Schmeichel stole the show.
Schmeichel’s six saves are the most by any Denmark goalkeeper in a World Cup game since his father, the legendary goalkeeper Peter, made nine against France in 1998, according to Opta.
And luck simply wasn’t on Peru’s side.
Man of the match: Yussuf Poulsen scored the game’s only goal to claim MOTM honors.
Next up: Denmark will play Australia, and Peru will face France on Wednesday in the second of three Group C games.
Thumbnail photo via Andrew P. Scott/USA TODAY Sports Images
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