Thu, 02 Feb 2023

Al Thumama [Qatar], December 5 (ANI): Defending champions France stormed into the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup as star forwards Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud scored to beat Poland 3-1 at the Al Thumama stadium in the round of 16 match on Sunday.

Just before halftime, Giroud handed France the lead, becoming their men's all-time leading scorer. Mbappe then dominated the second half with a magnificent brace, beating Szczesny with two ferocious shots. In extra time, Lewandowski added a late consolation goal by converting a penalty after his initial attempt, which Lloris saved, had to be retaken.

Early on, Giroud appeared destined to score first as he approached a back post cross from Ousmane Dembele into an open goal, but he was unable to make it in time. Giroud, however, would not be deterred, putting France in front after 44 minutes with a brilliant turn and strike. It was his 52nd goal for Les Bleus and gave him the opportunity to surpass Thierry Henry as the nation's all-time leading scorer for men.

In the 75th minute, Mbappe extended France's lead with a strong strike before adding a second with an incredible curling finish into the far top-right corner, his fifth of the competition.

With as many goals as Lionel Messi of Argentina, Mbappe became the first player to score nine World Cup goals before turning 24.

Dayot Upamecano's handball gave Lewandowski a chance to score a consolation goal with a penalty, which Lloris initially saved before being retaken and scored because the keeper did not have his feet on the line.

Lewandowski's penalty gave Poland a late consolation goal. Lewandowski scored after Poland's striker missed his first effort after referee Jesus Valenzuela demanded a second attempt.

The result means that France will meet the winners of England and Senegal, who play later on Sunday, in the quarterfinals to begin their World Cup championship defence.

Giroud scored his 52nd goal for France passing Thierry Henry to become the nation's all-time leading scorer among men. In the 44th minute, Giroud received a pass from Kylian Mbappe and sent a low effort with his left foot past Wojciech Szczesny, his old teammate at Arsenal.

Earlier in the competition, in France's 4-1 victory over Australia in their opening World Cup Group D encounter, the AC Milan striker equaled Henry's record of 51 goals for the country.

Olivier Giroud's goal gave defending champions France a 1-0 lead going into half-time against Poland here at Al Thumama Stadium in the round of 16 match.

The French team started off aggressively when Antoine Griezmann came with a cross following a corner which helped Raphael Varane take a header from very close range but it went high and wide to the right.

In the eleventh minute of the match, France made another attacking move when Kylian Mbappe's assist helped Ousmane Dembele take a right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the right and was blocked.

Two minutes later Adrien Rabiot's assist helped Aurelien Tchouameni right footed shot from outside the box and was saved in the bottom left corner.

Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Przemyslaw Frankowski kept on pressing for a goal but the World Champions could not get a breakthrough.

In the 29th minute, Antoine Griezmann tries a through ball but Ousmane Dembele is caught offside.

The World Champion finally took the lead in the 44th minute when Kylian Mbappe's through ball was converted by Olivier Giroud left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Two-time champions France also enjoyed more possession than Poland having 56 per cent of it while the other team had only 44. On the other hand, France had five shots on target whereas the Polish side had only two. (ANI)

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