France attain final 16 as Mbappe's brace beats Denmark


RAS ABU ABOUD, Qatar — France are the primary group to guide their place within the spherical of 16 on the 2022 World Cup after beating Denmark 2-1 on Sunday because of a brace from Kylian Mbappe.

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The Paris Saint-Germain talisman opened the scoring within the 61st minute, changing a wonderful move from Theo Hernandez, however the lead would final solely seven minutes earlier than Denmark centre-back Andreas Christensen equalised. The perimeters appeared destined to share the spoils earlier than Mbappe scored his second of the sport, popping up on the again put up on 86 minutes to earn France all three factors and a spot within the knockout rounds.

JUMP TO: Participant scores | Finest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Submit-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

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1. France first into knockout rounds as Mbappe stars once more

Mbappe, the Paris-born-and-bred prodigy has now scored 12 targets in his previous 14 video games for France. That attacking swag, on show towards Australia and at all times in Les Bleus‘ again pocket, it was there as soon as once more.

The large check for France towards Denmark was to see if the midfield and the defence might be as robust because the assault. This was to be a referendum on Dayot Upamecano, Adrien Rabiot, Theo Hernandez and Aurelien Tchouameni, and so they handed with flying colors — for many of the sport.

The way in which France managed the Danes was very spectacular. The return of Raphael Varane was crucial, bringing calm and serenity to the again line, and his partnership with a powerful Upamecano was wonderful. The French have been dominant in midfield, too, with Tchouameni and Rabiot being wonderful, till the Juventus midfielder forgot to mark Christensen, who scored Denmark’s aim.

Les Bleus did not give their opponents a lot for an hour or so, however what price them, once more, like too usually in current months, was set items. They have been undone by a nook. France supervisor Didier Deschamps admitted that they might do extra to arrange for these moments, and may defend them higher too.

There will probably be time for that. Now, they will deal with celebrating their qualification with a sport to spare.

2. Griezmann excellent in new function

Think about being 31 years outdated, enjoying in your third World Cup and being advised by your head coach that you’ll begin in a completely totally different place than what you’ve been used to for all of your profession. That is what’s occurred to Antoine Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid frontman has performed as a striker, a winger or a second striker underneath Deschamps, and now he can add a No. 8 to that checklist. And what an influence he’s having up to now on this World Cup.

Griezmann was excellent towards Australia and even higher towards Denmark. He made the sport extra fluid, enjoying easy one- or two-touch sequences, accelerating the sport or slowing it down when wanted. He recovered many balls by working laborious defensively and likewise minimize out the passing lanes in to Christian Eriksen. His deliveries from set items have been distinctive, too.

He ought to have scored, discovering himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, however blasted the ball over the bar simply earlier than the hour mark. He he was the who recovered the ball earlier than the buildup to France’s first aim. It was Griezmann, too, who offered the help for the Mbappe’s match winner.

This was a faultless efficiency and proof of not solely the expertise but additionally the unimaginable soccer IQ Griezmann possesses. Few of his friends would have the ability to make a brand new place their very own on a stage as massive because the World Cup.

3. Denmark are nonetheless alive, however solely simply

After Mbappe’s first aim, it appeared like darkish clouds have been gathering over Denmark as soon as once more. After the terribly poor efficiency towards Tunisia of their first sport, which they drew 0-0, they have been this time overwhelmed by a superior French group. But, they saved preventing after conceding the primary aim, striving to maintain alive hopes of reaching the following spherical.

They might have simply given up, however that is not their model. As a substitute, they saved going and triggered issues for France.

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Denmark scored from a set piece, conditions by which they’re wonderful. They created two massive probabilities, from Jesper Lindstrom and Martin Braithwaite, after two good actions utilizing the half areas and squaring the ball again within the field.

This will probably be a defeat robust to take due to how late the Danes conceded, however the gamers confirmed that there’s nonetheless life on this group. They’ll nonetheless qualify for the spherical of 16, however they’ll want the assistance of the French towards Tunisia, and so they should do their bit and beat Australia as nicely.

After what they confirmed within the final half-hour towards France, they will nonetheless have hope of overcoming the chances.

Participant scores

France: Hugo Lloris 6, Jules Kounde 5, Raphael Varane 6, Dayot Upamecano 7, Theo Hernandez 7, Antoine Griezmann 8, Aurelien Tchouameni 6, Adrien Rabiot 6, Ousmane Dembele 6, Kylian Mbappe 8, Olivier Giroud 5

Subs: Marcus Thuram 5, Kingsley Coman 5, Ibrahima Konate 5, Youssouf Fofana 5

Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel 6, Joachim Andersen 6, Andreas Christensen 6, Victor Nelsson 4, Rasmus Kristensen 5, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 4, Christian Eriksen 4, Joakim Maehle 4, Jesper Lindstrom 5, Andreas Cornelius 3, Mikkel Damsgaard 3

Subs: Martin Braithwaite 6, Kasper Dolberg 5, Christian Norgaard 5, Alexander Bah 4

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Dayot Upamecano, France. The Bayern Munich centre-back was all over the place, so stable, successful all his duels, good in his passing, too. His partnership with Varane goes to be wonderful.

WORST: Andreas Cornelius, Denmark. The FC Copenhagen striker was taken off at half-time after a horrible first half by which he dedicated extra fouls (3) than he had photographs (1) and touches within the French field (2). He additionally picked up a yellow card and appeared like he might have been despatched off as nicely. His group have been significantly better with out him.

Highlights and notable moments

Simply how good has Mbappe been on this match and Russia 2018?

After the match: What the gamers and managers mentioned

Tchouameni: “They had beaten us twice in the Nations League, and we said that this time, it’s the World Cup and it will be different. So we had extra motivation and desire. It was a great performance from us. Kylian is exceptional but everybody stepped up.”

Deschamps: “We are in an ideal position, we are qualified and it’s very likely that we top the group because of our goal difference compared to Australia. The first objective is reached. It’s never easy, especially the critics from former players and former World Cup winners … this squad is strong, solid and we want to do great things. We have done two already with these two wins.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)

– Mbappe’s two targets provides him seven in his World Cup profession. Solely Pelé, additionally with seven, has scored as many targets within the competitors earlier than turning 24 years of age.

– With seven targets, Mbappe handed Thierry Henry for the second most targets scored at a World Cup by a France males’s participant.

– Mbappe joins Simply Fontaine (4) as the one French gamers with multiple multi-goal World Cup sport.

– Mbappe’s three game-winning targets on the World Cup are probably the most by any France males’s participant.

– France enhance to 21-0-3 when Mbappe scores.

– France lengthen their unbeaten streak within the World Cup to 9 matches, tied with Netherlands for the longest energetic streak and 4 shy of the all-time document held by Brazil from 1958 to 1966.

Up subsequent

France: Les Bleus will shut out their group stage on Wednesday towards Tunisia, kicking off at 10 a.m. ET on the Training Metropolis Stadium.

Denmark: Denmark will return to motion on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, after they tackle Australia because the pair sq. off to comply with France by means of to the knockout rounds.

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