A starring performance from Kylian Mbappé saw France overcome Argentina with a scoreline of 4-3. The PSG man scored two and won a penalty which was converted by Antoine Griezmann. Benjamin Pavard scored the other with a phenomenal strike.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) June 30, 2018
France took the lead in the 13th minute when the Argentine defence got caught out by Mbappé’s lightning pace and Marcos Rojo barged the PSG attacker down inside the area.
Antione Griezmann converted the resulting penalty to get his second goal of the tournament and put Didier Dechamps’ men infront.
Mbappe was a serious threat and got in behind shortly after and Ajax’s Nicolás Tagliafico upended the 19-year-old. Paul Pogba blasted over the following free-kick from 20-yards out.
As the vulnerable Argentine defence dropped deeper when out of possession, as to eliminate the ball in behind them for Mbappe, the game became stretched. Kante followed Lionel Messi and Argentina looked void of ideas with no other forwards on the pitch.
Just as the half was drawing to a close, Angel Di Maria equalized in spectacular fashion. France switched off to a throw-in and ended up with three players dawdling towards the corner flag; after a succession of passes, Ever Banega fed the ball inside to Di Maria who was in acres of space. The PSG man whipped an unstoppable strike into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’ goal from distance from 30-yards out and the momentum was now well and truly with the South Americans going into the second half.
And they turned the game on its head just three minutes into the second half when Gabriel Mercado gave them the lead. A Banega cross was only half cleared when Messi turned and hit a shot towards goal which took a major deflection off Mercado to put Argentina 2-1 up.
The 1998 winners were level just nine minutes later when Benjamin Pavard met a Lucas Hernandez cross that avoided everyone. The Stuttgart full-back hit the volley of his life which curled into the angle. This will surely be a contender for goal of the tournament
Mbappe was dangerous throughout, and the PSG man put France back infront on 64 minutes when another Lucas cross caused chaos; the lightning fast forward touched the ball into his path and fired home with his left foot.
Aguero came on for the last 20 or so minutes, adding another option in the final third for Argentina, but it was France who were next on the scoresheet.
France broke away in a three against two situation and Olivier Giroud slid the ball into Mbappe and the youngster made no mistake, finishing first time to cap off a fantastic performance.
1998 – Kylian Mbappé 🇫🇷 is the 1st French player to score at least two goals in a World Cup knockout game since… Zinédine Zidane v Brazil in the 1998 final 🏆. #FRAARG #CM2018 pic.twitter.com/2T3AmFfTQ7
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 30, 2018
Aguero had a chance to reduce the two-goal deficit when Messi played him in but fired straight at Lloris. The Manchester City man then did manage to get on the scoresheet in injury-time after a perfectly weighted cross from Messi, but it was all too late.
It’s the end of an era for Argentina as we likely won’t see the likes of Messi, Aguero or Javier Mascherano play at the next World Cup. France have hit form at just the right time as they go into the quarter-finals.