The Kylian Mbappe show sinks Poland’s ship in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup
There seems to be no stopping French superstar Kylian Mbappe who netted yet another terrific brace to make it 3-1 for France against Poland and seal their progress to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Mbappe scored twice to extend his lead in the Golden Boot race while he also assisted a goal to Olivier Giroud in the first half which saw him become the all-time leading goal-scorer for France in men’s football. Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty in the final minute of added time but it only proved to be a mere consolation.
Unsurprisingly, France got off to a strong start in the game and dominated proceedings early on. They didn’t look to control possession as much as the need to work out certain spaces, especially to find Mbappe’s runs in behind the opposition backline. However, his first few forays in the game failed to pay off.
Giroud, however, had the first big break of the night as he made a dashing run toward the back post and got picked out by Ousmane Dembele’s cross. However, he failed to make the proper contact in time in order to divert the ball into the open goal.
Poland also maintained plenty of poise and composure in the first half. Piotr Zielinski had a glorious chance at goal but his shot got saved by Hugo Lloris. The deflected ball came into his path again but it got parried away by Theo Hernandez. Jakub Kaminski followed, only for his shot to be saved close to the goalline by Raphael Varane.
France’s efforts in the game were finally rewarded just a minute before the half-time break. Drawing the Polish defenders to him, Mbappe slid a perfect ball to the path of Giroud who clipped the ball past the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny to score his 52nd goal for Les Blues and going past Thierry Henry as the all-time leading goal-scorer in the history of the French national team.
The second half proved to be cruise control for France who extended their lead to three thanks to two brilliant moments of genius from Kylian Mbappe. The 23-year-old found the left top corner with a perfect strike from the edge of the box in the 75th minute before rounding things off with another curling effort that found the right-hand corner. Mbappe has already scored five goals in this year’s World Cup and has taken a strong lead in the Golden Boot race.
A handball by Dayot Upamecano gave Lewandowski a chance of scoring a consolation goal with a penalty that was first saved by Lloris before being retaken — and scored — as the goalkeeper did not have his feet on the line.
France will now face England in the quarter-finals of the competition.