A hungry and destructive Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France beat Poland 3-1 on Sunday to book their spot in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals.
At the end of a defiant first-half from Poland, Mbappe set up Olivier Giroud for France’s opener, as the AC Milan striker became the nation’s all-time record goal-scorer with 52 goals ahead of Thierry Henry.
Mbappe dazzled Poland in the second-half and rifled home two sensational goals, first drilling a powerful effort past Wojciech Szczesny in the 75th minute before curling a sumptuous strike into the top corner in injury time.
With his point, Giroud became France’s highest scorer at 52 goals as France dominated the game on Sunday at Al Thumama Stadium.
Poland’s poise came close to being rewarded in the 38th minute when onrushing Zielinski’s shot was parried by Lloris. The ball then came back into the midfielder’s path, but his second attempt was deflected by Theo Hernandez.
Jakub Kaminski followed, only for his shot to be saved close to the goal line by Raphael Varane.
One minute from the break, however, France’s tactics paid off.
Mbappe drew the defence to him and slid the ball through into the path of Giroud, who grabbed the inch of space he needed to clip the ball past Szczesny and net his third goal of the tournament.
The 36-year-old Giroud, who did not score in Russia four years ago, had drawn level with Thierry Henry on 51 goals after netting a double in the defending champions’ 4-1 win over Australia in their opening Group D game.
Leadership/ Al Jazeera