France send Argentina packing 4-3 at World Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-01 03:14:12|Editor: zh
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Kylian Mbappe (C) of France celebrates scoring during the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between France and Argentina in Kazan, Russia, June 30, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

KAZAN, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Teenage striker Kylian Mbappe scored two goals to help France defeat Argentina 4-3 as France reached last eight at the World Cup in Russia on Saturday.

Mbappe won a penalty for France in the first half, and then scored two goals of his own in the second half at Kazan Arena.

"I've always said that in the World Cup you have all the top players so it is an opportunity to show what you can do," said Mbappe, who was elected the Man of the Match. "There is no better place than the World Cup."

Antoine Griezmann scored from the penalty spot in the 13th minute to give France a 1-0 lead after Mbappe was fouled by Argentina fullback Marcos Rojo.

Angel Di Maria equalized for Argentina with a superb long-range strike before the halftime whistle.

Argentina briefly took the lead in the 48th minute with a strike from defender Gabriel Mercado, but France right back Benjamin Pavard equalized just nine minutes later with a volley that was the equal of Di Maria's stunner.

After pulling even, France simply took control of the match. Mbappe, 19, restored his team's lead with two goals in five minutes to make it 4-2. Argentina finally got their third goal in the stoppage time when substitute Sergio Aguero headed in a Lionel Messi cross.

Argentina needed one more goal to stay in the game, but the 31-year-old Messi and his teammates were out of time.

"Our team is very younger, but we played well in the match," France coach Didier Deschamps said after the match. "It was not easy because we were leading and then there was an equalizer. Then they led again, but we never gave up. I'm so satisfied that my boys are mentally strong. We gave it all out to win this match and we did it."

"France were playing very fast, and we made too many mistakes," Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said. "We once had the chance to turn around the match but we just lost our advantages."

France will be in the quarterfinals taking on either Uruguay or Portugal.

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KEY WORDS: World Cup