Mbappe on fire as France reach Qatar 2022 quarterfinals
Reigning champions France are through to the World Cup quarterfinals at Qatar 2022 after Kylian Mbappe scored a brace in a 3-1 win over Poland.
The youngster extended his run to 16 goals in his last 14 matches for Les Bleus with a pair of sensational strikes late in the second half of the last 16 tie.
Before that, on 44 minutes, he found Olivier Giroud with a through ball as the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker put Didier Deschamps' men 1-0 up.
Giroud surpassed Thierry Henry with the most goals in the history of the France national team, but the night belonged to Mbappe.
Deep into injury time, Robert Lewandowski was allowed to re-take a penalty he had missed due to Hugo Lloris being off his line.
The Polish captain scored second time lucky to make it 3-1, but it was too little too late and proved to be the last action of the game.
Thanks to their win, the French will face either England or Senegal in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Olivier Giroud, best goalscorer in the history of France with 52 goals. ⭐️🇫🇷 #Qatar2022pic.twitter.com/hnbeb5YtiN— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 4, 2022
Find someone who looks at you the way Mbappé looks at Giroud 😍 pic.twitter.com/hV1bRPODuA— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 4, 2022
The Russia 2018 winners were lucky not to fall behind to their opponents at the Al-Thumama Stadium, with Lewandowski giving them a scare on 20 minutes with a long range shot from around 30 yards out that crept past Lloris’ post.
With 38 minutes played, there was a huge goalmouth scramble as France either blocked the ball or cleared it off the line.
Six minutes later, the French struck out of nowhere with Player of the Match Mbappe spotting Giroud in enough space to run on to the ball and then let off a cool left footed finish past Wojciech Szczesny for his 52nd goal in national team colours.
Approaching the hour mark, Giroud had an overhead kick ruled out that would have arguably been the goal of the tournament had it counted.
With a quarter of an hour to spare, Giroud showed great intelligence when taking markers with him, which left Mbappe in acres of space so that Dembele could lay off an assist for his first.
Kylian Mbappe passes Pele for most World Cup goals scored by a men's player before turning 24 years old (8) 😮👏 pic.twitter.com/uJLZDH6LWO— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 4, 2022
In the first minute of stoppage time, Mbappe picked up the ball from Marcus Thuram on the edge of the 18-yarder then cut inside to let off a rocket of a shot into the top corner.
The damage already done before Lewandowski’s consolation, Mbappe pulled two ahead of his nearest contenders for the Golden Boot with five goals.
Furthermore, the 23-year-old also surpassed his idol Pele and now has more World Cup goals (nine) than the three-time winner’s eight tally before the age of 24.