France failure gives Socceroos hope, rivals boost confidence
WORLD CUP fancies France will head into their match against the Socceroos off the back of a sloppy draw against the United States.
Teenager Kylian Mbappe struck a late equalizer to save France's blushes and walk away with a 1-1 draw in their final warmup overnight.
Australia's other Group C rivals Peru and Denmark were also in action overnight, with the former playing out a 0-0 draw against Group F's Sweden.
Denmark defeated Mexico 2-0 after two goals in three minutes - one being a majestic strike from Yussuf Poulsen.
HERE'S A FULL WRAP OF THE OVERNIGHT ACTION INVOLVING WORLD CUP SIDES...
FRANCE 1-1 USA
19-year-old Kylian Mbappe reacted swiftly from near the penalty spot in the 78th minute, securing the draw after turning in a cross from right back Benjamin Pavard after he was released down the right flank by forward Nabil Fekir.
France missed several first-half chances and was punished in the 44th when USA scored with its first meaningful attack through forward Julian Green.
The goal came about thanks largely to a defensive blunder from right back Djibril Sidibe. He made a hash of a clearance and knocked the ball into the path of Green, who beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a crisp shot inside the near post.
It could have been worse for Les Bleus in Lyon.
Moments into the second half, striker Bobby Wood had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside, much to the relief of France's defence.
Midfielder Paul Pogba, hoping to start the World Cup match against Australia next Saturday, hit the post with a strike from 20 meters.
Moments later, he almost found striker Olivier Giroud with a deft pass with the outside of his foot.
Giroud had a quiet game and was replaced by Ousmane Dembele with about an hour played after clashing heads going for a high ball.
With seconds remaining in injury time, Steffen made a smart double save to deny Fekir and Dembele.
PERU 0-0 SWEDEN
Peru held Sweden to a scoreless draw in a confidence-boosting performance in Gothenburg overnight.
The Socceroos Group C rivals had the best of the chances in the opening 45 minutes, although Viktor Claesson almost put Sweden ahead just before the break with a superb scissor- kick.
The Swedes failed to find the net against Denmark last Saturday, and once again struggled in front of goal as Sebastian Larsson celebrated his 100th cap by captaining Janne Andersson's side in Gothenburg.
But with Paolo Guerrero leading the line, the Peruvians countered with speed, quickly changing the point of attack when they won the ball as they broke forward in numbers.
The Swedes, who open their Group F campaign against South Korea on June 18, suffered a scare midway through the second half as first-choice goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who missed most of the spring due to a broken collar bone, landed heavily, but after treatment he was able to continue.
Andersson will have been happy to see injury-plagued midfielder Albin Ekdal's fine passing display, but it was Peru's Ricardo Gareca who was by far the happier of the two coaches at the final whistle.
DENMARK 2-0 MEXICO
Denmark won the encounter with second half goals from Yussuf Poulsen and Christian Eriksen.
The side were without a goal in two-games, and looked set to continue that streak before Poulsen curled a left-footed strike into the far corner.
Tottenham star Eriksen doubled the Danes' lead just three minutes later to seal the result.
SERBIA 5-1 BOLIVIA
Serbia enjoyed a morale-boosting dress rehearsal for the World Cup after striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 drubbing of Bolivia.
Forward Adem Ljajic and defender Branislav Ivanovic were also on target as the Serbians netted four of their goals in a lop-sided first half against their hapless opponents, who failed to qualify for the June 14-July 15 tournament in Russia.
SPAIN 1-0 TUNISIA
Spain laboured to a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in an underwhelming World Cup warm-up in Krasnodar.
The 2010 champions remain unbeaten under coach Julen Lopetegui, who took over 20 matches ago after the Roja's elimination from Euro 2016 in the last 16 at the hands of Italy.
Iago Aspas scored the only goal against fellow World Cup qualifiers Tunisia seven minutes from the end.
But Lopetegui's search for a consistent centre-forward was made no clearer despite a solid showing from Brazil-born Diego Costa.
The Atletico Madrid forward set up Aspas's winner and was a nuisance throughout for the Africans' defenders.
Spain dominated the ball but allowed Tunisia some good scoring chances.
MOROCCO 3-1 ESTONIA
Younes Belhanda and Youssef En-Nesyri sandwiched goals around a penalty from Hakim Zeyich as Morocco beat Estonia 3-1.
Morocco face Iran on June 15 in Group B, which also includes 2010 World Cup winners Spain and European champions Portugal.