Mask off for Kylian Mbappe as France captain ends goalless run at UEFA Euro after 535 mins, equals Just Fontaine's tally | Football News - Hindustan Times

Mask off for Kylian Mbappe as France captain ends goalless run at UEFA Euro after 535 mins, equals Just Fontaine's tally

By, New Delhi
Jun 28, 2024 11:18 AM IST

France captain Kylian Mbappe netted his first-ever goal at the UEFA Euros to match Just Fontaine's tally.

It had to be Kylian Mbappe. Eight days after breaking his nose at the UEFA Euro 2024, Real Madrid's new galactico, forward Mbappe, returned to France's starting lineup for its crucial group match against Poland in the European Championships on Tuesday. Wearing a protective mask for the Group D decider at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion, Mbappe announced his return with the opening goal for Les Bleus.

France's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the match(REUTERS)
France's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the match(REUTERS)

Mbappe's availability remained a major talking point as the France captain missed the goalless draw with the Netherlands on Friday. The Real Madrid striker sustained a broken nose in France's 1-0 win over Austria at the UEFA Euro 2024. Gearing up for his comeback match, Mbappe featured in a behind-closed-doors match against a local side to warm up for the Poland clash. Making sure that France open the scoring against the Robert Lewandowski-led side, Mbappe successfully converted a spot-kick in the second half of the contest.

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Mask off for Mbappe as France captain breaks goal duck

Taking a slow run towards the penalty spot, Mbappe curled his right-footed shot into the bottom right corner to give France a 1-0 lead over Poland in the 56th minute of the game. With goalkeeper Łukasz Skorupski diving the wrong way, Mbappe opted to take his mask off while celebrating his first goal for the 2018 FIFA World Cup winners. Interestingly, Mbappe has ended his longstanding goal drought at the UEFA Euros. The second-half penalty was Mbappe's first-ever goal at the European championships.

Mbappe equals Fontaine's feat

Mbappe fired 20 shots at the goal without finding the back of the net. No French player has taken 20 shots on goal without scoring since 1980. Mbappe managed to break his goal duck after 535 minutes. Yes, it took two tournaments for Mbappe to land his first Euro goal for France. With the all-important opener, Mbappe has matched Just Fontaine's feat of 13 goals in major tournaments for France. Mbappe is only behind Michel Platini, who netted 14 goals for the two-time World Cup winners.

France fail to top Group D with 1 win and 2 draws

Mbappe's penalty on his return was cancelled out by Lewandowski as Poland played out a 1-1 draw with France. Austria's 3-2 stunning win over the Netherlands confirmed a second finish for France in Group D. Mbappe's France will travel to Duesseldorf for the last 16 clash with runners-up in Group E. Belgium, Romania, Slovakia or Ukraine can meet France in the knockout round of the UEFA Euro.

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