June 25, 2024

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France 3 – 1 Poland

Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time men’s record goalscorer as his opener and Kylian Mbappe’s second-half double gave the World Cup holders a 3-1 win over Poland to move them into the quarter-finals.

Giroud scored his 52nd France goal to surpass Thierry Henry’s record with a neat first-half finish (44) to help fire Les Bleus to a last-16 victory in Doha and set up a quarter-final against England on Saturday at 7pm.

The 36-year-old, who had equalled Henry’s tally of 51 after scoring twice in their opening Group D win over Australia, broke the record on his 117th appearance for France.

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Player ratings

France: Lloris (6); Kounde (7), Varane (7), Upamecano (6), Theo Hernandez (7); Tchouameni (6), Rabiot (7), Dembele (7), Griezmann (7), Mbappe (9); Giroud (8).

Subs: Fofana (6), Coman (6), Thuram (6), Disasi (n/a).

Poland: Szczesny (7); Cash (6), Kiwior (5), Glik (5), Bereszynski (5); Kaminski (6), S. Szymanski (6), Krychowiak (6), Zielinski (6), Frankowski (6); Lewandowski (7).

Subs: Milik (6), Bielik (6), Zalewski (6).

Man of the match: Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe then doubled France’s lead in the 74th minute before arrowing in a superb second in stoppage time to make it five goals in Qatar – two more than any other player at the tournament.

Robert Lewandowski scored a 99th-minute re-taken penalty to add a late consolation for Poland to deny Hugo Lloris a clean sheet on his record-equalling 142nd appearance for France.

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Kylian Mbappe says his only concern is winning the World Cup for France despite being a leading contender to claim the Golden Boot on five goals

How France reached the quarter-finals

Big moments in the game…

  • 29 min: Giroud misses a big chance at back post
  • 38 min: Poland have an effort cleared off the line by Varane
  • 44 min: Giroud opens scoring with record goal for France
  • 74 min: Mbappe makes it 2-0 with powerful strike
  • 90+1 min: Mbappe scores stunning second in top corner
  • 90+7 min: Poland awarded penalty for Upamecano handball
  • 90+8 min: Lewandowski’s penalty saved but Lloris off his line
  • 90+9 min: Lewandowski scores retake from spot

France dominated the opening stages at the Al Thumama Stadium and Giroud should have given them a 29th-minute lead as he slid wide at the back post from Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

Poland, who were in the knockout stages for the first time since 1986, came close to a shock opener as Lloris denied Piotr Zielinski before Jakub Kaminski’s rebound was cleared off the line by Raphael Varane.

Hugo Lloris denies Piotr Zielinski
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Hugo Lloris saved from Piotr Zielinski to deny Poland an opener

France took the lead in the 44th minute as Mbappe slid in Giroud, who took one touch before finishing left-footed past Wojciech Szczesny for his third goal of the tournament as he became France record men’s goalscorer.

Mbappe then gave France breathing space midway through the second half as he fired past Szczesny to make it 2-0 before adding a sublime third in the top corner to deny Poland a first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 1982.

Kylian Mbappe fires home France's second goal against Poland
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Mbappe scored twice in the win over Poland

They were the 23-year-old’s fourth and fifth goals in Qatar as Mbappe became the first player to score nine World Cup goals before his 24th birthday, having netted as many as Argentina’s 35-year-old Lionel Messi.

A handball by France defender Dayot Upamecano allowed Lewandowski to score his second World Cup goal from the spot with the last kick of the game.

The Barcelona striker’s first penalty was saved by Lloris but the French captain did not have his feet on the line as Lewandowski scored at the second attempt.

Mbappe: Lifting World Cup all that matters for me

France forward Mbappe said: “The only objective for me is to win the World Cup. The only thing I dream is this.

“I came here to win this World Cup. I didn’t come here to win the Golden Ball or Golden Boot. If I win it of course I’m going to be happy but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to win and I’m here to help the French national team.”

Mbappe also explained why he had not addressed the media before Sunday as he said: “I needed to focus on the tournament and my soccer,” adding that he had volunteered to pay a French federation fine for his silence.

“When I want to concentrate on something that’s the way I function. And that’s why I didn’t want to come speak to you before now.

“I’ve been preparing for this tournament throughout the season, physically and mentally. I wanted to be ready for this tournament and I am.”

Deschamps: Giroud is incredible | ‘We needed a great Mbappe tonight’

France head coach Didier Deschamps: “Giroud is an incredible player, there are many who say it now.

“He was much criticised but Olivier has the mindset to fight.

“When he is not decisive, he is so useful to the team but like any centre-forward, he prefers the collective victory, but winning with this goal-scoring record, it’s not nothing.”

Deschamps added: “He (Mbappe) speaks on the football pitch. He knows that himself but he can change a match in just a moment. He is always playing with such joy.

“France needed a great Kylian Mbappe tonight and they got one.”

Giroud: Childhood dream to break France record

Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring for France against Poland
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Giroud scored a record 52nd goal for the France men’s team in Qatar

France’s new all-time men’s leading goalscorer Giroud said: “The adventure continues. We had said in the dressing room that to live such a great experience we needed to be united, be as one.

“My wife and my kids are here, as well as my childhood friends, it’s a childhood dream come true to beat Titi (Henry).

“Now it’s done, I’m putting this behind me and my obsession is to go as far as possible with this team.”

Michniewicz: There’s no recipe to stop Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring France's second goal against Poland
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Mbappe hit a top of speed of 35kph (22mph) as he tormented Poland’s defence


Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz said of Mbappe: “There is no recipe [to stop him]. No one knows the recipe, no coach knows the recipe to stop Mbappe in the form he is in.

“He hurt us today but I am cheering for him because he is a real star.

“I’m talking about (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Lewandowski. If someone is going to take over, I think Mbappe will be the player to be the best one (for) many years.”

Michniewicz on his side being knocked out at last-16 stage: “Getting out of the group stage after 36 years was our main objective. We succeeded, but in the next round we faced the world champions.

“We are very sorry, today we’re sad and disappointed. As more time passes, we’ll change our perspective. After weeks and months, we can proudly say we achieved what Poland wasn’t able to achieve in 36 years.”

Opta stats: France keep up impressive last-16 record

  • France have progressed from all six matches they’ve played in the round of 16 at the World Cup, including in each of the last three editions in a row (2014, 2018 and 2022).
  • Poland lost consecutive World Cup games by multiple goals for the first time since 2002 (0-2 v Korea Republic and 0-4 v Portugal).
  • France have only lost one of their seven games in the World Cup knockout stages under Didier Deschamps (including finals), with that defeat coming in 2014 to eventual winners Germany (0-1 in the quarter-final). They have won each of their last five games in the World Cup knockout stage since that defeat.
  • France’s Olivier Giroud (36y 65d) became the oldest player to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup (excl. own goals) since Roger Milla in 1990 against Colombia (38y 34d).