World Cup 2018, Day 13 Review: Rojo saves the day

There were four more games at the World Cup today, and some of them even had something happen in them. Denmark vs France, however, was not one of them. The Danes had just four shots, with none in the box, and Didier Deschamps’ side’s three shots on target were all from over the hill and far away (or outside the penalty area, in other words).

Raphael Varane was the man of the match, but he did that with the second lowest points tally of an ‘MOTM’ at the tournament so far. While France had already qualified, they still put out a strong XI, but it made little difference.

The likes of Griezmann and Giroud picked up fewer attacking points than Kasper Schmeichel, which probably says a lot. As does the fact that none of the top 11 performers in the match picked up any points for shots.

The other early match on Tuesday saw Peru beat Australia 2-0. Actual goals, can you imagine? Mile Jedinak may have racked up the most points, but in reality it was Paolo Guerrero who made the biggest impact on the game as he scored one goal and assisted the other. He also made some key defensive contributions in Peru’s box too, so he was effective at both ends of the pitch.

The other two matches were markedly more dramatic. Argentina were in! They were out! They were in again! They did the hokey cokey, and when everyone turned around they sneaked into the knock-out phase.

Marcos Rojo’s winning goal earned him both our man of the match award and the gratitude of his nation, but it was Ever Banega who was arguably the most impressive performer.

He was comfortably the best attacking performer, with five important passes as we can see here. Banega amassed 300 points more than the next most impressive attacker, who was some chap called Lionel Messi.

The final match in our round up was Croatia’s 2-1 win over Iceland. Milan Badelj hadn’t played in the tournament before tonight, but came in as the Croatians made some changes having already qualified for the last 16.

The Fiorentina man certainly took his opportunity, by scoring the first and assisting the last minute winner. You’ll notice on the dashboard (if you click on the actions) that his ball recovery in the Iceland half enabled him to make the match-winning pass.

The points earned were enough to make Badelj our man of the day. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s done enough to retain his place when Croatia face Denmark in the next round.

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