Peru manager Ricardo Gareca has outlined his side’s determination to do their fans proud in their final group game, despite being eliminated from the World Cup.
A narrow defeat to France in Yekaterinburg confirmed the Incas will be going home after three matches, as Kylian Mbappe scored the only goal to send France into the knockout stages.
The crowd inside the stadium consisted almost entirely of Peru supporters and Gareca apologised that his team were not able to give their incredible fans the results they deserved.
“The public were incredible and that is what really hurts, that we were unable to pay back this fervour, which the team awoke, and this multitude of people who followed us,” the Argentine said, as quoted by ESPN.
Peru pushed Les Bleus hard and were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, with Paolo Guerrero squandering a first half chance before Pedro Aquino struck the post after the interval.
Peru still have an opportunity to record their first World Cup win since 1978 when they face Australia in Sochi next Tuesday, and Gareca promised that his team would do all they could to win for their fans.
“I said before the tournament that everyone would be surprised with they their passion, and their love for the team. We will do the impossible to try and give them a goal or a win to celebrate in our final match.”
Peru’s opponents in their final match still have something to play for, as an Australia win combined with a Denmark defeat to France could see the Socceroos advance to the last 16.