Kylian Mbappe’s double and Olivier Giroud’s record goal helped defending champions France beat Poland 3-1 in their round of 16 match to storm into the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup here on Sunday. The French team will play in the quarterfinals of the World Cup three consecutive times (2014, 2018, 2022). France will face the winner of the late night match between England and Senegal on 10 December in the quarter-finals. Center forward Girod (44th minute) scored his country’s record 52nd goal in the first half.
Mbappe (74th and 90+1st) scored two goals in the second half and also assisted Girod. Consolation goal for Poland was scored by his charismatic striker Robert Lewandowski (90+9th minute) from the penalty spot. A minute before the first half, Giroud became the top goalscorer for France, surpassing Thierry Henry (51 goals in 123 matches). The 36-year-old Girod has scored 52 goals in 117 matches. He equalized for Henry in a 4–1 win against Australia in their Group D opener.
Mbappe passed the ball inside the box to Giroud, who fired in a spectacular left-footed shot to put France ahead 1-0. Coach Didier Deschamps was seen celebrating it. Poland created chances during the match but the team was unfortunate that these were not fruitful. France, who topped Group D, dominated the first 15 minutes of the match, making three good attempts on goal, one of which was Aurélien Choumeni’s shot towards goal in the 13th minute, which was saved by Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. Made a good defense while doing it.
Lewandowski, a veteran of Poland and one of the best strikers, made several attempts to break into the French half. 1998 champions France had a great chance in the 27th minute when Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele crossed for Giroud but he could not find the net. Poland’s players were trying their best to stop Mbappe, who is now leading the race for the Golden Boot with five goals in the tournament. Chowmani was also shown a yellow card during this time for fouling Frankowski and Poland got a free kick which went in vain.
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a record 142nd appearance for the team to equal Lilian Thuram’s most caps. He made a fine save from Poland’s Piotr Jielinski in the 38th minute. In the second half, Poland’s Batosz Bereszinski was shown a yellow card for bringing down Ousmane Dembele and France were awarded a free kick. The Polish goalkeeper made a good save, diving for Antoine Griezmann’s powerful shot from the free kick. Mbappe got a chance during this, but his shot went wide. Giroud had a chance to double the lead in the 66th minute when he tried to guide Conde’s cross near the post but it went wide of the net.
The Polish players were in the French half and then in a counter-attack the French players changed the direction of the ball.Giroud passed to Dembele who headed it towards Mbappe, the star fired a powerful right footed shot into the Polish box and Szczęsny could do nothing. Mbappe thus became the first player under the age of 24 to score eight goals in the World Cup. In this way, he left behind Pele’s record of seven goals before the completion of 24 years.
Also read: FIFA World Cup: England beat Senegal 3-0 to enter World Cup quarter-finals
Mbappe then showed another magic and scored his second goal in the match. Thurram’s pass took his World Cup goal tally to nine. Poland reached the knockout rounds for the first time in 36 years, with a consolation goal coming in the 99th minute from a penalty for a ‘handball’ infringement. During the match, the referee also removed Jules Conde’s gold chain, which he was playing wearing, which is a violation of the rules.