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World Cup Results 2018: Saturday's Scores and Updated Group Standings

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJune 16, 2018

TOPSHOT - France's midfielder Paul Pogba (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C football match between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 16, 2018. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SAEED KHAN/Getty Images

France and Denmark lead the way in Group C at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as both teams secured victories in their opening games on Saturday.

Les Bleus saw off Australia 2-1, while a single goal from Yussuf Poulsen was enough for Denmark to beat a spirited Peru side.

In Group D, Lionel Messi missed a penalty as Iceland held Argentina to a surprise draw. Croatia top the group after beating Nigeria.

Here's a look at the results and latest standings:

France 2-1 Australia

Argentina 1-1 Iceland

Peru 0-1 Denmark

Croatia 2-0 Nigeria

     

Standings

(Team, Played, Goal Difference, Points)

Group C

1. France, 1, +1, 3

2. Denmark, 1, +1, 3

3. Australia, 1, -1, 0

4. Peru, 1, -1, 0

     

Group D

1. Croatia, 1,+2, 3

2. Iceland, 1, 0, 1

3. Argentina, 1, 0, 1

4. Nigeria, 1, -2, 0

For the complete standings, visit FIFA.com.

     

Paul Pogba was the match-winner for France in an eventful game which sparked into life in the second half.

France won a penalty, awarded via the video assistant referee (VAR), when Josh Risdon was sanctioned for a sliding challenge on Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann coolly converted the spot-kick and made history in the process, per Squawka News:

Squawka News @SquawkaNews

Antoine Griezmann makes #WorldCup history after scoring the first VAR awarded penalty. https://t.co/dNi3IUkrtL

France's lead was short-lived, as Samuel Umtiti conceded a penalty four minutes later for a handball in the penalty area.

The Barcelona star poked fun at himself after the game on social media, as shown by Get French Football News:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Samuel Umtiti ridicules his own mistake in an Instagram story. https://t.co/s8omwkQczx

Mile Jedinak equalised for Australia, but they were undone late on as Pogba's shot deflected off Aziz Behich, hit the crossbar and bounced back down. Goal-line technology confirmed the ball had gone in.

France were not at their best but did just about enough to secure all three points and get off to the perfect start.

Group C's other game saw Peru slip to a narrow defeat to Denmark. An energetic Peru side created plenty of chances but struggled in front of goal and could not find a way past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Christian Cueva had the best chance for Peru after they were awarded a penalty courtesy of VAR. However, the 26-year-old blazed his effort over the bar, and his team-mates had to console him at the break, as shown by Squawka News:

Squawka News @SquawkaNews

#PER substitutes console Christian Cueva following his first-half penalty miss. https://t.co/hs8fNrzP0z

It was to prove a costly miss, as Denmark broke the deadlock just before the hour mark. Christian Eriksen found Poulsen, and he fired home to hand the Danes all three points.

Group D saw Messi miss the chance to give Argentina all three points in their opener. Sergio Aguero had fired Argentina ahead, but Iceland hit back through Alfred Finnbogason.

Argentina were awarded a penalty in the second half for a push by Hordur Magnusson on Maximiliano Meza. Up stepped Messi, but goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson denied his effort.

Opta showed Messi's less-than-impressive penalty record:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

4 - Lionel Messi has missed four of the last seven penalties that he has taken for Barcelona & Argentina combined (57%). Woe. #ARGISL #ARG #WorldCup https://t.co/O0K8SlhMvw

It's a great result for Iceland, who are at the World Cup finals for the first time in their history. However, Argentina will be disappointed not to win the game and face another difficult test against Croatia next.

Croatia opened up with a 2-0 win over Nigeria thanks to an Oghenekaro Etebo own goal and a penalty from Luka Modric.

There was an element of fortune about the opener, as Mario Mandzukic headed on a corner, and the ball appeared to be going out of play until it hit Etebo and trickled over the line.

Croatia doubled their lead from the penalty spot after William Troost-Ekong dragged down Mandzukic. Modric sent goalkeeper Francis Uzoho the wrong way to seal the win.

Match of the Day noted how it was Croatia's first shot on target:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Yep, that penalty was Croatia's first shot on target of the night 🙄 #CRONGA #WorldCup #bbcworldcup https://t.co/dk69aho5xn

Croatia weren't at their best but did not need to be against a disappointing Nigeria team. The win puts them in pole position in the group and sets them up nicely for their game against Argentina.

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