France tops Argentina behind Mbappe brilliance

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La Albiceleste had everything going their way early in the second half, but a quick flip of the switch turned the tides in favor of their European foe.

France topped Argentina, 4-3, in Kazan on Saturday behind a second-half Kylian Mbappe brace.

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The Monaco man was dangerous throughout the match, and played an important role in three of the four French goals.

Les Bleus took the lead after 13 minutes when Antoine Griezmann stepped up at the penalty spot and buried the game’s opener.

The chance came just a minute after Mbappe made a striding run through the Argentina backline and was taken down by Marcos Rojo in the area.

With both sides aiming to get ahold of the match before the halftime break, Angel di Maria gave La Albiceleste a moment of brilliance in the 41st minute with a long-range strike that beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The goal is Di Maria’s second-career World Cup finish, after previously scoring in 2014 against Switzerland.

The second half kept the pace at a maximum, with Argentina taking the lead less than three minutes after the halftime whistle.

Lionel Messi gathered the ball after a corner kick, before firing a shot towards a goal that was deflected in by teammate Gabriel Mercado.

That lead was short-lived though, with right back Benjamin Pavard firing a shot into the top-left corner off of a cross from the left wing.

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Pavard’s effort was followed by Mbappe scoring his side’s third and fourth goals of the match to restore the France lead.

Second-half substitute Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back in stoppage time for Argentina with a brilliant near-post header, but it was too late for the CONMEBOL side to complete a comeback,

France will now progress to face the winner of Saturday’s Round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal.