Kylian Mbappe’s first-half goal was enough for France to record a 1-0 Group C victory which consigned opponents Peru to World Cup elimination in the process.
Yet again Les Bleus failed to live up to their status as one of the tournament favourites, but they are now two wins from two and guaranteed to go through to the last 16.
Denmark’s 1-1 draw with Australia earlier on Thursday means that Peru cannot overhaul them in the Group C table, and sets up a showdown between France and the Scandanavians to see who tops the group.
Antoine Griezmann turned provider with an early corner which Raphael Varane sent wide with a glancing header, but the best chance to break the deadlock in the opening half an hour fell to Peru’s all-time top goalscorer Paolo Guerrero, who shot straight at Hugo Lloris from 10 yards after getting away from Samuel Umtiti.
The South Americans were made to pay for their miss four minutes later when Mbappe became France’s youngest ever World Cup scorer by converting a close-range rebound, after Gallese had partially blocked from Giroud.
Pedro Aquino thumped a shot off the crossbar from 30 yards, with Lloris, making his 100th international appearance, beaten. The Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper was never severely tested though as Andre Carrillo and Luis Advincula struck over the crossbar.
Peru will be hoping to give their fans, a reported 40,000 of whom have travelled to Russia, something to shout about in the final group match against Australia, who can still qualify ahead of Denmark with victory in Sochi.