DAY Messi’s Magic Could Not Save Argentina From France’s Firepower
By PAN PYLAS, Associated Press
Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in a five-minute span to lead France over Argentina 4-3 Saturday and into the World Cup quarterfinals.
The loss could be the end of Lionel Messi’s international career.
Mbappe, a constant threat to Argentina’s creaking defense with his speed and skill, was at the heart of France’s often-breathtaking display, particularly in the middle part of the second half.
With the score even at 2-2, the 19-year-old Mbappe got his first goal with a cool finish from a tight angle in the 64th minute, his low shot going under Argentina goalkeeper Franco Armani. Four minutes later, he slotted past Armani again after he was put through on goal by a deft pass from Oliver Giroud.
Mbappe also helped France to its first goal. Following a sustained period of early pressure, he won a penalty after a 40-meter burst of speed that ended with him being brought down by Marcos Rojo. Antoine Griezmann then scored from the spot in the 13th minute, sending Armani the wrong way.
France will next face either Portugal or Uruguay in the quarterfinals on Friday in Nizhny Novgorod.
Argentina briefly took the lead in the 48th minute at Kazan Arena, but France defender Benjamin Pavard equalized nine minutes later with a superb strike from outside the area.