FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: France 3-1 Poland in last-16 clash

Olivier Giroud broke France’s all-time men’s goal scoring record with his opener, and Kylian Mbappe’s second-half double helped the World Cup holders beat Poland 3-1 to advance to the quarter-finals. With a superb first-half finish (44) to help propel Les Bleus to a last-16 victory in Doha and set up a quarter-final against England on Saturday at 7pm, Giroud scored his 52nd France goal, breaking Thierry Henry’s record.

France 3-1 Poland in last-16 clash

The 36-year-old, who had tied Henry’s record of 51 goals after scoring twice in France’s opening Group D victory over Australia, broke the record on his 117th appearance for France. Mbappe then doubled France’s advantage in the 74th minute before arrowing in a magnificent second in stoppage time to give him five goals in Qatar, two more than any other player. Robert Lewandowski added a late consolation penalty for Poland in the 99th minute to deny Hugo Lloris a clean sheet in his record-equaling 142nd appearance for France.

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France dominated the first half at the Al Thumama Stadium, with Giroud slipping wide at the back post from Ousmane Dembele’s cross in the 29th minute. Poland, who were in the knockout stages for the first time since 1986, were denied by Lloris before Jakub Kaminski’s rebound was cleared off the line by Raphael Varane. In the 44th minute, Mbappe slid in Giroud, who took one touch before shooting left-footed past Wojciech Szczesny for his third goal of the tournament, becoming France’s record men’s goalscorer.

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Mbappe then provided France breathing room in the second half, firing past Szczesny to make it 2-0, before hitting a beautiful third in the top corner to deny Poland a first World Cup quarter-final berth since 1982. They were Mbappe’s fourth and fifth goals in Qatar, as he became the first player to score nine World Cup goals before the age of 24, surpassing Argentina’s 35-year-old Lionel Messi.

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A handball by France defender Dayot Upamecano set up Lewandowski’s second World Cup goal from the penalty spot with the game’s last kick. Lloris saved the Barcelona striker’s first penalty, but the French skipper did not have his feet on the line when Lewandowski scored on the second try. The sole goal for me is to win the World Cup,” France star Mbappe stated. This is all I can think of. I came here with the intention of winning this World Cup.

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I didn’t come here to compete for the Golden Ball or the Golden Boot. Of course, I’ll be thrilled if I win, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to win and to assist the French national team.” Mbappe also explained why he hadn’t spoken to the media before Sunday, saying, “I needed to focus on the tournament and my soccer,” adding that he had volunteered to pay a fine to the French federation for his silence. That’s how I work when I need to concentrate on anything.

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That’s why I didn’t want to come talk to you earlier. I’ve been psychologically and physically prepared for this tournament all season.” I was determined to be prepared for this competition, and I am. Didier Deschamps, France’s head coach: “Many people now agree that Giroud is a terrific talent. He was heavily chastised, but Olivier is a fighter. When he’s not decisive, he’s so useful to the squad, but he loves the collective victory, like every centre-forward, but winning with this goal-scoring record isn’t nothing.

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