By Claire Evren
France have beaten Argentina 4-3 in the Round of 16.
France are through to the quarter-final
Kylian Mbappe has proved to be the gamebreaker against Argentina, with his brace handing France a 4-3 win — putting his side into the quarter-finals.
France took an early 1-0 lead courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann penalty.
Griezmann coolly sent Franco Armani the wrong way to hand France a 1-0 lead after just 13 minutes.
Hough much of the focus before the game was on Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, it was Mbappe who produced a brilliant performance that will linger long in the memory.
The 19-year-old’s second-half double turned the game decisively in France’s favour, and inflicted more pain on Argentina in what may be their final chance to win the World Cup during Messi’s prime.
France pipped Argentina 4-3 to enter the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Kylian Mbappe scored a brace in France’s victory over Lionel Messi-led Argentina. The youngster scored in 64th minute and then found the net in 68th minute to put France on top. Apart from Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann (13th minute) and Benjamin Pavard (57th minute) were the other scorers for France. Angel Di Maria (41st minute), Gabriel Mercado (48th minute) and Sergio Aguero (90+3rd minute) found the back of the net for Argentina. Mbappe becomes the sixth teenager to score more than once at a World Cup: Pele (6, Brazil), Edmund Conen (4, Germany), Manuel Rosas (2, Mexico), Jose Altafini (2, Brazil) and Michael Owen (2, England).
The Mbappe show
As the clocked ticked towards the half way mark, France appeared in complete control, dominating the ball with almost 70% possession.
None of Argentina’s front three had even one sight of goal, with N’Golo Kante in particular doing a fabulous job of nullifying Messi’s threat.
But for all of France’s dominance, it was a moment of magic — though this time not from Messi — which hauled Argentina level.
Angel Di Maria unleashed a stunning long-range strike, which nestled in the top corner to level the scores.
Just three minutes after half-time, Argentina snatched the lead.
Lionel Messi’s shot deflected off teammate Gabriel Mercado and into the back of the net to hand Argentina a 2-1 lead.
But then, in the 57th minute, Benjamin Pavard struck.
The Frenchman unleashed a scintillating long-range strike to make it 2-2.
Then, in the 64th minute, Kylian Mbappe weaved his way through traffic and powered home a close-range goal to hand France a 3-2 lead.
Just four minutes later, Mbappe struck again, making it 4-2.
Argentina scored a late goal, with Messi finding substitute Sergio Aguero, with his header making it 4-3.
But Argentina could not find a last-gasp winner, with France progressing to the quarter-finals — and their opponents left to wonder what might have been.
France (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris (capt); Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi; Olivier Giroud
Argentina (4-3-3): Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Enzo Perez, Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega; Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi (capt), Angel Di Maria
Argentina is done at the 2018 World Cup, and France is moving on. The Europeans earned their first ever victory over the South Americans at a World Cup, beating Lionel Messi and company 4-3 after trailing 2-1 early in the second half. Against a weak Argentina defense, France used its speed and fine finishing for their best attacking display at the cup, knocking out the two-time champs with ease.
Though Argentina took a 2-1 lead in the second half, it wasn’t going to be enough with an error-prone defense, as Didier Deschamps’ team scored three quick goals to put it away. Kylian Mbappe stole the show with two goals while also winning a penalty kick.