Mbappe eclipses Messi, Argentina

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Jul 2018 11:07:34


 

KAZAN ARENA,

TEENAGE star Kylian Mbappe struck twice and earned another goal as France finally found their attacking edge to beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 4-3 and move into the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday.


Billed as Messi’s chance to reignite stuttering Argentina’s hopes, the thrilling last 16 clash in Kazan instead saw 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe grab the limelight as he became the youngest player since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a World Cup match. Embattled Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli had promised an “aggressive, attacking” approach from his side.


But his fears over the superior speed of the French strikers were quickly proven right when Mbappe sprinted from his own half until he was hauled down by Marcos Rojo.Antoine Griezmann coolly converted the 13th minute penalty.
But Mbappe’s PSG team-mate Angel Di Maria levelled with a 41st minute long-range stunner and the South Americans
were back in what was proving a superb match.


Argentina took a 2-1 lead minutes after the restart when Gabriel Mercado clipped Messi’s low curling shot past Hugo Lloris, but that was Messi’s only real contribution in the match.


Defender Benjamin Pavard’s stunning half-volley levelled
for France on 57 minutes and as Argentina lost hope, Mbappe struck in the 64th and 68th
minute to seal France’s place in the last eight.
The last time France lost a World Cup game after taking the lead was in 1982, against Poland.