France ousts Argentina 4-3, sails into QFs — FIFA WC

France ousts Argentina 4-3, sails into QFs — FIFA WC

France ousts Argentina 4-3, sails into QFs — FIFA WC

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. Saturday's victory gave France a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Mbappe got his two in his first attempt.

Mbappe was involved in three of France's four goals, announcing himself to the world as a genuine superstar.

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.

Astonishingly, neither Messi nor Ronaldo have ever scored a goal in a World Cup knockout match, in a combined 14 games.

"It's flattering to be the second one after Pele, but let's keep things in context", Mbappe said. "Pele is another category", Mbappe said. "We're here to play all seven matches, right up until the final, and we will see what happens". Four minutes later, he slotted past Armani again after he was put through on goal by a deft pass from Oliver Giroud.

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring his team's third goal.

From the resultant penalty, Antoine Griezmann fired France into an early 1-0 lead. "It was not easy because we were leading and then there was an equalizer".

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Deschamps, now national manager, praised his team's character to fight back from 2-1 down. "We couldn't miss it and we did win it". "It is normal (because) it was the time we were World Cup winners, so that is obviously what they remember".

Barcelona's Messi, 31, has spent the tournament trying to hold the squad together, even apparently bypassing coach Jorge Sampaoli to give coaching instructions in the 2-1 win against Nigeria that saved the South Americans from a humiliating group-stage exit. "I am sure there might have been mistakes".

Argentina leveled the score at 1-1 in the 41st minute, when Angel di Maria thundered a left-footed strike into the top right corner.

Argentina pulled back a goal deep into injury time when Sergio Aguero nodded home a Messi cross, but it was too little, too late.

Di Maria's goal was one of the best of the tournament.

"As always we will bank on the strength of our team as a collective", he said. "We were able to turn around the match but after a very short time during a very odd play, we lost our advantage".

For Messi, it means he still has never won a major global title with Argentina.

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