France beats Argentina 4-3, into quarterfinals

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Teenager Kylian Mbappe struck twice inside five second-half minutes to ensure France beat Argentina 4-3 and became the first team to qualify for the World Cup quarterfinals.

Following an exhilarating display between two former champions, France came from behind to defeat Lionel Messi’s Argentina.

And Les Bleus owed their triumph to the 19-year-old Mbappe. Always a threat to Argentina with his speed and power, Mbappe was at the heart of France’s performance.

France took an early lead after Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 13th ? after Mbappe drew the penalty ? with Angel Di Maria leveling the score with a thunder strike just before the interval.

Messi set-up a goal for Gabriel Mercado to give Argentina a 2-1 lead just after halftime but Argentina’s defense cracked to concede three goals in the space of 11 minutes. Defender Benjamin Pavard equalized with his first international goal, Mbappe then scored with a cool finish from a tight angle and netted again in the 68th with some help from Olivier Giroud.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero pulled one back in the third minute of added time with a header from Messi’s pass.—AP

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