Reigning World Cup champions France first team to clinch round of 16 berth

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France superior, and Kylian Mbappe obtained them there.

The French turned the first defending champions to attain the round of 16 on the males’s World Cup since Brazil in 2006, beating Denmark 2-1 Saturday with Mbappe scoring each targets.

“Kylian is a rare participant. He has the flexibility to make the distinction at any time it doesn’t matter what the opposite team plans to include him,” France head coach Didier (*16*) mentioned from Doha, Qatar. “In addition to his nice potential he’s completely invested within the team and he is made it an goal of his to win the World Cup.”

Mbappe put his team in entrance within the 61st minute after which scored the winner along with his proper thigh within the 86th as Les Bleus turned the first team at this yr’s match to advance from the group stage.

The France ahead swapped passes with Theo Hernandez down the left flank and poked the ball previous Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel for the first objective. He then jumped acrobatically to information within the second after a cross from Antoine Griezmann — who tailored properly in a midfield function and offered his twenty sixth help for the nationwide team.

Denmark defender Andreas Christensen equalized for his team with a header within the 68th.

Mbappe scored 4 targets when France received the World Cup 4 years in the past, together with one within the last. He now has 31 targets for France, transferring him one forward of Just Fontaine, the all-time main scorer at a single World Cup with 13 targets on the 1958 match.

He joined one other France nice, playmaker Zinedine Zidane, with 31 targets. Zidane scored twice within the last when France received its first World Cup in opposition to Brazil in 1998 and one objective when Les Bleus misplaced within the 2006 last to Italy on penalty kicks.

“There are differing kinds of leaders,” (*16*) mentioned. “Mbappe’s a frontrunner, he units the instance with what he exhibits on the sector.”

Ideal place

France beat Australia 4-1 in its opening sport whereas the Danes drew 0-0 with Tunisia. The Aussies beat Tunisia 1-0 earlier Saturday.

“We’re in a great place. It makes you are feeling very calm to be certified after two video games,” (*16*) mentioned. “There’s a powerful likelihood we’ll end first within the group.”

No different defending champion had made it out of the group stage since 2002 champion Brazil managed to advance 4 years later. Italy, Spain and Germany all have been eradicated early 4 years after successful their titles.

The first time the French received the World Cup, additionally they went out early 4 years later.

With Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema lacking from the match with a leg harm, Mbappe has taken cost. He has 14 targets in his previous 12 video games for France, together with three to date in Qatar.

“Mbappe performed an awesome match,” Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand mentioned. “He’s a fanastic participant, that is it.”

The Danes beat France twice this yr within the Nations League however seemed tame in assault at Stadium 974 — on the uncommon events they even obtained close to France’s penalty space.

“We knew if could be a troublesome match. We had misplaced twice to them earlier than,” Griezmann mentioned. “We labored arduous and we labored properly collectively. So it was an awesome win for us.”

Centre again Raphael Varane returned to France’s defence for his first sport since sustaining a hamstring harm enjoying for Manchester United on Oct. 11. The 2018 World Cup winner made his 88th worldwide look and performed 75 minutes earlier than being changed.

Forward Marcus Thuram got here on within the second half as his father, Lilian Thuram, watched from the stands. The elder Thuram was a standout defender who helped France win its first World Cup in 1998.

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