Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2022. 12:00 pm CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias:
Kylian Mbappé scored two goals on Sunday leading World Champions France in a superb 3-1 win over Poland on their way to the quarterfinals.
The match was played at the Al Thumama Stadium with 40,989 fans in attendance.
Poland took the lead after an initial dominance by France, but when Robert Lewandowski and his team were playing their best ball, France struck twice and added one more in injury time at the 90’+1’ to take a 3-0 lead. Poland got their consolation goal late in injury time.
Even though France had had more breaks, Poland had the best opportunity, causing a triple save by France in the 37th minute. But before the half ended, in the 44th minute France struck. The ball went from Adrien Rabiot to Mbappé to Olivier Giroud who chipped it over goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and France were ahead 1-0.
France put the ball game away in the 74th minute on a counterattack initiated after a Polish attack. Mbappé fed the ball to Giroud going forward through the middle. Giroud switched it to Ousmane Dembélé on the right. Dembélé crossed it over to the left side to Mbappé. The France star had enough time to set the ball and fired a blast, defeating Szczesny to put it 2-0.
The goal was Giroud’s 53rd goal with which he broke Thierry Henri’s record of 52 goals as France’s top international scorer.
Mbappe’s goal, as the first one in the 44th minute, came when Poland was encroaching on their half of the field looking for the tying goal.
He hit again in the 90’+1’. Marcus Thuram on the left, set it for Mbappé who again had enough time to position himself and set the ball and fired another blast to the far post putting France ahead 3-0.
He now leads all World Cup scorers with five. For France, this was his 16th goal in the last 14 games. To top it off, Mbappé became the first player under-24 to score nine goals at the World Cup. This was his 33rd goal for France.
But Poland were not going blank today. They were awarded a penalty kick in injury time. Lewandowski converted on his second try, placing it to Hugo Lloris’ left. Lewandowski missed a penalty kick against Mexico Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa in the first round and he missed again today. He only got a second chance since Lloris moved forward away from the goal line too early.
The match finished 3-1 in France’s favour sending them to the quarterfinals where they will play whoever wins out of the England-Senegal game which kicks off at 1:00 pm today. That quarterfinal match has been scheduled for 1:00 pm on Saturday, December 10.
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