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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Australian defender Mark Milligan certain his
team will win last group match against Peru

KAZAN Russia (Xinhua) -- Australia defender Mark Milligan says his team will spare no efforts to win the last group match against Peru for a chance to reach the World Cup knockout stages.

"After everything, it just feels that it comes down to that last game.

"We have to win," the 32-year-old veteran of four World Cups told reporters at the Trudovye Rezervy Stadium after an open training session.

"We can’t control anything else that happens, but I know we will absolutely give everything we have," he added.

After losing 2-1 to France and drawing with Denmark 1-1, the Australians can still reach the knockout phase if they beat Peru and France defeat Denmark in the final round of group matches.

Regarding the match between France and Denmark, Milligan said that he is sure the French will try their best to win.

"France have quality right through their squad.

"That’s totally out of our hands but I have no doubt that they will go into that match to win," said Milligan.

The defender added that he also expected a tough game against Peru, even though the South Americans have no chance of progressing after defeats against France and Denmark.

"I don’t think their current standing in the group is going to influence the way they play too much," he said, adding that Peru are a strong side.

"It’s the World Cup, it’s a special tournament and I can’t see anybody doing anything less than their best."

When asked about recent online criticism of teammate Robbie Kruse over his level of performance, Milligan said Kruse was a fantastic player, and that his team would ignore this sort of criticism.

"It’s much more important about what we think of each other than everybody else.

"On the field, we’re the only ones who can help us," he said.

Australia will face Peru in their last group match on June 26, while Denmark take on France at the same time.
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UPDATE:

Australian striker Nabbout looks for quick comeback after shoulder injury

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Australia striker Andrew Nabbout hasn’t given up the hope of being able to help his side qualify for the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup in their make-or-break match against Peru on Tuesday, despite dislocating his shoulder on Thursday.

The 25-year-old fell badly in the closing minutes of Australia’s impressive 1-1 draw against Denmark in Samara and was forced off the pitch.

It is the second shoulder injury he has suffered in a month, after also dislocating his shoulder while playing in the J-League in May, but rather than seeing that as a sign that his World Cup is over, Nabbout believes it could actually help him make a rapid recovery.

"They say the second time the recovery is a bit quicker," he said on the website Socceroos.com.

"When I landed on my shoulder, it just popped out, but it’s nothing I haven’t felt before.

"I will be all right, its fine now and there is no pain, so I will start rehab and see how we go from here," added the striker.

"Hopefully this time being the second time, it recovers a little bit quicker and we can go again."

"I have always got positive thoughts in my mind.

"Hopefully if I rehab it quick enough, anything can happen, I rehabbed pretty quick from the last one," he said.

Although they have just one point from their opening two games in the tournament, the Australians would still make the last 16 if they can beat Peru and Denmark lose to France and the Australians are able to overtake Peru on goal differences.

Denmark currently have a plus one goal average, while Australia’s is minus one, meaning a 2-0 win for the Aussies and a 1-0 defeat for Denmark would see Australia into the last 16.

However, if the Aussies win 1-0 and Denmark lose 1-0, then goals scored would come into consideration and if that too comes even, fair play would be the deciding factor with the side having the fewest yellow cards progressing to the next round.

           

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