Opponent Watch: Mbappe creates history for France

There was another stack of international friendlies on Wednesday with all of the Caltex Socceroos Group C opponents in Russia in action across the globe.

France bounced back from the shock loss to Colombia on the weekend with an impressive display against Russia, while Denmark and Peru also recorded impressive results, which saw one nation branded as a "real wildcard" for Russia.

We’ve got all the action covered in our Opponent Watch.


Young star Kylian Mbappe became the youngest Frenchman in the post-war era to score a brace as his side beat Russia 3-1 in St Petersburg.

Mbappe scored a goal in each half as France piled more misery on the FIFA World Cup hosts with a superb display, the perfect response to their 3-2 loss to Colombia on Saturday.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba scored France’s other goal via a sensational free-kick.

While Mbappe limped off late with an injury, the PSG star wasn’t in too much discomfort and played down the significance of his record-breaking night.

"It's good, I'm happy, but the important thing was to win," he said.

"I do not chase after the records. I felt good because I played with players with whom it is easy to combine… Ousmane Dembele, Anthony Martial, who is a great player.

"There are automatic [things] to create [between the players] but it's a good start."

Kylian Mbappe


Denmark continued their impressive pre-World Cup form, holding South American heavyweights Chile to a goalless draw at the Aalborg Stadium.

While Age Hareide’s men struggled to break down Chile’s defence, Lasse Schone came close to scoring a winner when his second-half free-kick struck the woodwork.

Pione Sisto, who scored the winner when the Danes beat Panama 1-0 last week, forced a great save out of Chile goalkeeper Johnny Herrera, while Cristian Eriksen also had a great chance for the hosts.

But Denmark keeper Kasper Schemichel also had a busy night, producing one acrobatic stop to push one effort onto the crossbar.

Kasper Schmeichel


The South Americans are looming as a dangerous opponent in Russia after they made it back-to-back wins this international window with a 3-1 victory over Iceland.

In the clash in New Jersey, Renato Tapia opened the scoring inside three minutes before Jon Guoni Fjoluson equalised before the break.

But Peru’s pressure eventually told in the second half, as attackers Raul Ruidiaz and Jefferson Farfan scored to continue their momentum heading towards their first appearance at the World Cup in 36 years.

"They're a very hard, aggressive pressing team and like to win the ball high," former Premier League striker and commentator with Optus Sport, Michael Bridges said of Peru.

"They don't absorb and invite pressure. They like to go out and win the game and I like them.

“They could be a team to watch, a real wildcard for the tournament."

Jefferson Farfan