MATCH CENTRE

SAT 30 JUNE 2018, 16:00, KAZAN ARENA

4
VS
3

Mbappe magic sees France into the quarterfinals

by Graeme Jackson

Sat June 30, 18:00

Kylian Mbappe earned a penalty and scored two goals as France defeated Argentina 4-3 in a thrilling 2018 World Cup last 16 clash at the Kazan Arena on Saturday.

A three-goal salvo in the space of 11 second-half minutes saw ‘Les Bleus’ come from behind to defeat the ‘Albiceleste’ and become the first team to ink their name in the quarterfinal line-up.

France dominated the early stages and nearly claimed the lead in the ninth minute as Antoine Griezmann rattled the crossbar with a shot direct from a free kick.

Yet the French forward scored from a penalty four minutes late to put his team 1-0 up. The spot kick was awarded after Marcos Rojo had to resort to pulling down Kylian Mbappe to halt his powerful run.

The speedy teenager was a constant menace to Argentina’s defence, and Nicolas Tagliafico almost gave away another penalty for a foul on Mbappe – luckily for the ‘Albiceleste’ left-back the infringement was just outside the 18-yard area.

Yet while ‘Les Bleus’ always looked threatening in attack, Argentina gradually gained a foothold in the game and they were rewarded for their determination in the 41st minute, as Angel Di Maria scored from a fearsome long-range hit to make it 1-1.

The South Americans completed the turnaround three minutes into the second half. A free kick was only half-cleared and found its way to Lionel Messi on the edge of the box, he in turn sent a low shot toward goal, but teammate Gabriel Mercado redirected it enough to wrong-foot goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and put Argentina 2-1 up.

France nearly restored parity in the 55th minute when a mix-up at the back from Argentina almost let Griezmann in, but shortly thereafter a magnificent strike from right-back Benjamin Pavard – who struck a swerving volley into the top corner – made it 2-2.

This roller-coaster game took another twist in the 64th minute, as Mbappe picked up a loose ball in the Argentina penalty area and fired a low effort through the legs of goalkeeper Franco Armani to make it 3-2 in favour of ‘Les Bleus’.

Four minutes later France put together a superb attacking move which ended with Olivier Giroud’s deft ball putting Mbappe in on goal, and the 19-year-old coolly passed home a low shot to make it 4-2 and knock the stuffing out of the South Americans.

Argentina pulled a goal back deep in injury time when Sergio Aguero headed home from Messi’s cross, but it was nothing more than a consolation.

France saw out the remainder of the game to claim victory and book a place in the first quarterfinal match next Friday at Nizhny Novgorod against either Portugal or Uruguay.

France (1) 4 (Girezmann pen 13’, Pavard 57’, Mbappe 64’ 68’)
Argentina (1) 3 (Di Maria 41’, Mercado 48’, Auguero 90+3’)

France: Lloris, Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba, Matuidi (Tolisso 75’), Mbappe (Thauvin 89'), Giroud, Griezmann (Fekir 83’)

Argentina: Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo (Fazio 46’), Tagliafico, Perez (Aguero 66’), Mascherano, Banega, Pavon (Meza 75’), Messi, Di Maria

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
LAST 16 KAZAN ARENA
FRANCE GOALS ARGENTINA GOALS
7. Antoine Griezmann (13') 11. Angel di Maria (41')
2. Benjamin Pavard (57') 2. Gabriel Mercado (48')
10. Kylian Mbappé (64') 19. Sergio Agüero (90 + 3')
10. Kylian Mbappé (68')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
3 5
FRANCE STARTING LINEUP ARGENTINA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
12
Defender
57'
73'
2
Defender
48'
2
Defender
21
Defender
11'
46'
16
Defender
4
Defender
90 + 3'
17
Defender
5
Defender
19'
3
Midfielder
72'
75'
14
Midfielder
41'
11
Midfielder
13
Midfielder
75'
22
Midfielder
6
Midfielder
66'
15
Forward/Striker
13'
83'
7
Midfielder
50'
7
Forward/Striker
64'
68'
89'
10
Midfielder
43'
14
Forward/Striker
90 + 3'
9
Forward/Striker
10
SUBSTITUTIONS
Corentin Tolisso
Midfielder
75'
12
Federico Fazio
Defender
46'
6
Nabil Fekir
Midfielder
83'
18
Sergio Agüero
Forward/Striker
66'
19
Florian Thauvin
Forward/Striker
89'
20
Maximiliano Meza
Midfielder
75'
13
CARDS
Blaise Matuidi
Midfielder
72'
14
Marcos Rojo
Defender
11'
16
Benjamin Pavard
Defender
73'
2
Nicolás Tagliafico
Defender
19'
3
Olivier Giroud
Forward/Striker
90 + 3'
9
Javier Mascherano
Midfielder
43'
14
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
COMMENTS
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