FIFA World Cup 2018 highlights: Mbappe strikes twice as France beat Messi’s Argentina
Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France defeated Argentina to reach the FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-finals in Kazan on Saturday. Mbappe scored France’s third goal in the 64th minute and sealed the win four minutes later with a cool finish to set up a quarter-final clash with Uruguay or Portugal. Benjamin Pavard scored in the second half after Gabriel Mercado got a second for Argentina. Antoine Griezmann had given France a 1-0 lead over Argentina after scoring from the penalty spot in the 13th minute but Angel di Maria equalized with a powerful long-range strike. Get highlights of France vs Argentina FIFA World Cup 2018 Round of 16 match here.
21:33 hrs IST: This dominant victory over Argentina handed Didier Deschamps’ side a place in the quarter-finals, where they will play either Uruguay or Portugal.
21:30 hrs IST: Kylian Mbappe is the youngest player to score in a FIFA World Cup knock-out match as he broke the record set by Brazilian great Pele in 1958.
21:22 hrs IST: A late chance for Argentina to equalise but the shot flies over the target. France have won 4-3 and they have entered the quarterfinals!
21:19 hrs IST: Sergio Aguero gets one back for Argentina as they trail 4-3 against France. But is it too late?
21:15 hrs IST: France changed the game in the second half -- Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France tallied three goals in 11 minutes to take a 4-2 lead over Argentina
21:10 hrs IST: France, who seem to be cruising towards victory against Argentina, will face either Portugal or Uruguay in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
21:06 hrs IST: A clear show of domination from France as they continue to attack. The Argentine defence is not looking strong against the counter-attacks and they can end up conceding more goals today.
21:02 hrs IST: Back to back goals by Kylian Mbappe and both times, he was able to beat the defenders with sheer pace. This is not looking good for Argentina!
20:58 hrs IST: A great chance for Olivier Giroud but the shot was just wide of the target. This is complete annihilation from France as they are looking in complete control.
20:56 hrs IST: Kylian Mbappe doubles his tally as France lead 4-2 against Argentina. Is it game over for Lionel Messi & Co?
20:53 hrs IST: Kylian Mbappe has done it! The youngster strikes as France lead 3-2 against Argentina in Kazan!
20:50 hrs IST: An absolute blinder by Benjamin Pavard to make it 2-2. He received the ball well outside the penalty box and his long-range shot was too much for the goalkeeper to handle.
20:47 hrs IST: If Argentina win today, they won’t have Otamendi, Mascherano and Banega in the quarter-finals due to card problems.
20:46 hrs IST: GOAL! France are back in the game as Benjamin Pavard scores and it is 2-2 against Argentina!
20:43 hrs IST: A loose clearance by Federico Fazio almost proved to be costly, but goalkeeper Franco Armani was able to deal with the danger. Argentina lead 2-1 against France.
20:40 hrs IST: A shot by Lionel Messi from outside the box but Gabriel Mercado got the final touch as the defender has handed Argentina a 2-1 lead. This is huge for Messi & Co.
20:37 hrs IST: Gabriel Mercado has doubled the lead for Argentina against France!
20:33 hrs IST: We are back for the second half and the game is poised brilliantly with both sides looking for an early advantage.
20:18 hrs IST: It’s half-time in Kazan! Argentina and France are tied at 1-1! Both teams had good chances and although Griezmann handed France the advantage, Di Maria’s long-range strike can change the tides in Argentina’s favour.
20:14 hrs IST: Angel Di Maria unleashes a 25-yard thunderbolt to put Argentina level against France - just before half-time
20:12 hrs IST: What a strike by Angel Di Maria! Argentina have made it 1-1 against France in Kazan!
20:10 hrs IST: Benjamin Pavard has been an absolute live wire on the flanks and his cross was inches away from a diving Mbappe who failed to make any contact.
20:07 hrs IST: France are dominating proceedings against Argentina as they lead 1-0 after 35 minutes
20:05 hrs IST: Earlier in the game, Kylian Mbappe won the penalty after being fouled in the box by Marcos Rojo. The Paris Saint-Germain forward sprinted 40 meters before entering the penalty area, where he was clumsily stopped by the Argentina defender. Griezmann took the penalty calmly, sending goalkeeper Franco Armani the wrong way.
20:01 hrs IST: France are dominating proceedings with pace as Griezmann made a great run down the middle but Mbappe was blocked out by the defenders. The youngster is looking really dangerous today.
19:57 hrs IST: Gabriel Mercado made a good overlapping run down the flank but the pass was not up to the mark and Argentina continue to trail against France.
19:53 hrs IST: Chances on both ends for France and Argentina. France were unable to convert their free-kick while Argentina’s long-range shot missed the target by quite a margin.
19:49 hrs IST: Another dangerous tackle and the second yellow card of the game goes to Nicolás Tagliafico. This is a good chance for Griezmann to double the lead.
19:48 hrs IST: Time for Argentina to fight back and Jorge Sampaoli’s men are trying their best to break down the French defence.
19:44 hrs IST: Antoine Griezmann has scored and France lead 1-0. It was a composed strike from the spot and the Argentine goalkeeper had absolutely no chance.
19:42 hrs IST: Penalty for France! Marcos Rojo fouls Mbappe inside the penalty box!
19:39 hrs IST: What a chance! Antoine Griezmann got a bit of curl on the free-kick but it slammed the post and came back. Huge miss for France as they have started quite well.
19:35 hrs IST: 3 minutes into the match and Lionel Messi is already a target. But, the resulting free-kick wielded no result. Argentina are trying but the final ball has not been quite poor.
19:32 hrs IST: Both teams are relying heavily on their midfield and with no clear striker in the side, Argentina are trying to build their attacks through the middle.
19:28 hrs IST: Lionel Messi has yet to score in the knockout round. Will it finally change today?
19:26 hrs IST: It’s time for the anthems and both the sides are out in the middle. We are minutes away from kick-off.
19:23 hrs IST: Argentina supporters have travelled to Kazan in large numbers and outnumber the French fans at Kazan Arena. As a result, the French team has been jeered off the pitch as it returned to the locker room after warming up.
19:18 hrs IST: Here’s some positive news for the Argentina fans - Diego Maradona believes the 2018 World Cup can still be Argentina star Lionel Messi’s tournament. “This is just beginning, it’s in diapers. Now is when we start playing,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca.
19:14 hrs IST: Talking about the head-to-head record, the Argentina team hold a better record against the Frenchmen. In the last eleven encounters, Argentina have defeated the French team six times with three matches being drawn.
19:10 hrs IST: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Kylian Mbappe all return, with Deschamps resisting the urge to start Nabil Fekir, who has impressed in several cameo appearances.
19:07 hrs IST: Olivier Giroud will spearhead France’s attack against Argentina as Didier Deschamps made six changes from the line-up he fielded in the final group match against Denmark.
19:04 hrs IST: Now, a look at the France starting line-up - Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud
19:01 hrs IST: Jorge Sampaoli has decided to ignore the natural strikers - Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain - as Cristian Pavon comes in for his first start of the tournament having previously been used as an impact substitute.
18:59 hrs IST: A look at the Argentina starting XI - Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Banega, Di Maria, Pavon, Messi.
18:55 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to the FIFA World Cup 2018 match between France and Argentina.
All the flaws of an ageing and unbalanced Argentina team were ruthlessly exposed in the thrashing by Croatia in the group stage. But, roared on by a pumped-up Diego Maradona, Messi finally opened his account in this tournament before Marcos Rojo volleyed in a stunning winner against Nigeria as the losing 2014 finalists punched their ticket to the knockout stage.
Didier Deschamps’ France, meanwhile, among the pre-tournament favourites, have looked sluggish despite easing through the group stage unbeaten.
First-choice striker Antoine Griezmann has been unable to recapture his best form and the creativity has failed to flow from midfield.
Deschamps is adamant that France will get it all right on the night when the business end of the tournament kicks off on Saturday.