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Clinical Mbappe slices Poland, sends France into quarter finals

kylan mbappe with a football Wilfried Mbappé says he would be playing for Cameroon were it not for the money they demanded to include him

France advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Poland on Sunday. Kylian Mbappe assisted Olivier Giroud’s historic goal and scored two goals himself, according The Citizen.

Giroud’s first-half goal was his 52nd for France, allowing him to surpass Thierry Henry and become the nation’s all-time leading scorer.

Mbappe’s decisive goal in the 74th minute ended any chance of a Poland comeback, and he scored again in stoppage time to give him nine goals in just 11 World Cup appearances, the second-most among French players.

At the other end, the French defense neutralized the threat posed by Robert Lewandowski, although the 34-year-old Poland captain did score a penalty in stoppage time.

France advances to the quarterfinals and remains on track to become the first team since Brazil 60 years ago to successfully defend the World Cup.

France were overwhelming favorites against a Poland team that had struggled through the group stage, but their elimination from Euro 2020 served as a caution.

Mbappe missed the decisive penalty kick in France’s penalty-shootout loss to Switzerland in the round of 16, a match in which France led 3-1 and appeared to be in control.

Mbappe returned on Sunday as one of nine changes following a meaningless loss to Tunisia. Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris also returned to earn his 142nd cap.

This tied him with Lilian Thuram, whose son Marcus came off the bench here, for the record of most France appearances.

It was a momentous occasion for France, but coach Didier Deschamps prioritized a routine victory and advancement to the quarterfinals.

The sky is the limit for a French team led by Mbappe, but he is not alone.

At Al Thumama Stadium, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann made a strong start amid a hushed atmosphere.

At one point, the large screen displayed that Mbappe had reached a top speed of 35 kilometers per hour, and the fans were delighted to sit back and watch.

Przemyslaw Frankowski lost possession as a result of France’s speed and pressure, which led to Dembele crossing the ball to Giroud, who somehow put the ball wide.

Poland, who have not won a World Cup knockout match since 1982, nearly took the lead in the 38th minute when Lloris blocked a shot by Piotr Zielinski and Raphael Varane stopped Jakub Kaminski’s follow-up on the line.

Those missed opportunities proved decisive as France took the lead one minute before halftime.

Mbappe took a glance as he received the ball just outside the penalty area before passing it to Giroud, who took a touch and finished into the far corner.

In the second half, Poland was forced to chase the game, and they substituted Juventus striker Arkadiusz Milik to assist Lewandowski.

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However, France’s defense was simply superior to Poland’s attack, as they eliminated them to make the score 2-0.

Giroud intercepted a Griezmann clearance before releasing Dembele, whose ball into the middle was controlled before Mbappe scored.

In stoppage time, Thuram assisted on a second goal of comparable caliber, which was also an impressive finish.

Only Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals in 1958, has scored more goals for France at the World Cup.

Lewandowski then scored a late equalizer by converting a retaken penalty awarded for Dayot Upamecano’s handball.

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