France beat and eliminated Argentina 4-3 on Saturday, with Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe scoring a brace for France in the second half.
Argentina’s striker Sergio Aguero managed to strike a goal in the stoppage time in an attempt to save the game.
Earlier, Argentina was leading 2-1 after goals by midfielder Angel Di Maria in the 41st minute and defender Gabriel Mercado in the 48th.
The score was Di Maria’s first of the 2018 World Cup. Di Maria now has 20 international goals in 97 appearances for the national team.
However, goals by Benjamin Pavard and Mbappe in the 57th and 64th minutes respectively have turned the course of the key game.
Antoine Griezmann scored the first goal of the France-Argentina matchup in the 13th minute of the game. Mbappe showed incredible speed in the final third to break away from the Argentines to win a penalty.
This was the first time in a 90-minute World Cup match that we’ve had a 4-3 scoreline. That really underlines what we’ve seen today.
France as the winner of Saturday’s round of 16 matchup will now face the winner of Uruguay and Portugal’s in the quater final.
Uruguay and Portugal faceoff at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.
Mbappe was a constant threat to Argentina’s creaking defense with his speed and skill and was at the heart of France’s often-breathtaking display, particularly in the middle of the second half.
19-year-old France forward, Kylian Mbappe, has become the first teenager to score at least two goals in a World Cup game since the Brazilian great in 1958. Mbappe is just the sixth teenager to score more than once in a World Cup tournament — Brazil leads that list with 6.
“I’m very happy and it’s flattering to be the second teenager (to score twice in the knock-out rounds) after Pele but let’s put things in context: Pele is another category, but it’s good to be among these people. As I’ve already and always said, at a World Cup you have all the top-level players, so it’s an opportunity to show what you can do and what your abilities are. There’s no better place than a World Cup.” Man of the match, Kylian Mbappe, said after the game.
“I was not fearing anything, it’s like in my first career (as a player): as long as a referee hasn’t blown the whistle, anything can happen. When the second Argentinian goal was scored it was a blow. We could have equalised quicker with Antoine but I was not afraid. As long as you have time, even if you have an experienced team in front of you, I know that the France team is ready to face it. If I am a coach it is because I want to live this: a full stadium, highly-experienced teams. Our team is much younger, but it’s there. We answered the call, we have a lot of character and it was not easy as we were leading, then there was an equaliser, then we were 2-1 behind, but we kept fighting. There is an excellent mentality in this group and we did everything to go further. Since I am responsible for everything, particularly when it doesn’t go well I’m very proud. I’m very happy for them because they have been preparing themselves for weeks and months. We couldn’t miss it and we didn’t miss it.” Didier Deschamps, France coach said.
“This is very painful, especially because the players have made a huge effort. It was a very difficult game but we have not achieved our goal here in Russia. I’m sad, I’m frustrated – I think that’s quite normal. For me, the fact of being here and being able to be where means I won’t decide my future today.” Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina coach said.
“I think that we adapted to necessity, rather than having a clear idea. We had a clear need and we had to win, that was our main goal. That was maybe stronger than our football concept. We have the best player in the world and we had to try to create collective situations to really use that player who can have many brilliant moments.We tried many different tactics, surround him, create space for him, so we tried to use everything we had to allow him to do what he can do. Sometimes we managed it, sometimes we didn’t. [The players] fought until the end and they nearly equalised at the end and that’s what I really, really value. They worked very hard and I want to say thank you.” Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina coach added.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.