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France Defeats Poland: Giroud, Mbappe Score For Les Bleus


Olivier Giroud scored France’s 52nd goal to become the nation’s all-time leading scorer, and Kylian Mbappe added two more goals as France defeated Poland 3-1 in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday.

Giroud’s goal in the 44th minute at Al Thumama Stadium placed him ahead of former Arsenal and France forward Thierry Henry.

Mbappe extended the lead for Didier Deschamps’ squad and scored once more before the end of the match to become the tournament’s leading scorer by two goals.

Robert Lewandowski scored a late consolation goal for Poland as he converted a retaken penalty following a valiant effort against the reigning world champions.


Giroud could have scored earlier, but he could not divert Ousmane Dembele’s low cross from the right into the net. A dearth of clear chances marked France’s promising start.

Poland had their own opportunities in the first half and was denied in the 38th minute when Bartosz Bereszynski’s cut-back from the left found Piotr Zielinski, who shot straight at Hugo Lloris, before his follow-up was blocked and then Raphael Varane thwarted Jakub Kaminski’s attempt.

Giroud had his moment just before halftime when Mbappe played a fast pass into the striker, who finished well past Wojciech Szczesn, his former teammate with Arsenal.


The 36-year-old had the ball in the net again with a magnificent overhead kick just before the hour mark, but the whistle had already blown for a foul on Szczesny.

Mbappe scored with 16 minutes remaining to seal the victory for Paris Saint-Germain. Dembele found Mbappe on the left side of the penalty area, and the Paris Saint-Germain star then curled the ball past Szczesny into the near post.

In stoppage time, the Golden Boot leader put the result beyond doubt by receiving the ball on the left side of the penalty area and sending it beautifully into the upper-right corner of the net.


As a result of a VAR review for Dayot Upamecano’s handball in the final minute, Poland was granted a penalty kick. Despite Hugo Lloris saving Robert Lewandowski’s first penalty, Lloris was off his line for Lewandowski’s second attempt, which he converted.

What does it indicate? France’s World Cup retention is still in play

France demonstrated their prowess in the second half to secure a victory that was not always as straightforward as a 3-1 scoreline suggests.

Since the introduction of the round of 16 in the 1986 World Cup, France has competed at this stage six times and won all six matches (also 1986, 1998, 2006, 2014 and 2018). Germany (8/8) and Croatia (2/2) are the only two nations to appear at this level many times and advance each time.


After Poland’s first match in the World Cup knockout round since 1986, Czeslaw Michniewicz’s team returns home.

Giroud is by himself

The Milan striker is perpetually undervalued, but he can now claim the top spot on France’s all-time scoring record, even if Mbappe believes he will eventually surpass him.


Giroud, at 36 years and 65 days, also became the oldest player to score in the World Cup knockout rounds since Roger Milla in the round of 16 match against Colombia in 1990. (38y, 34d).

Mbappe consumes Cash

Matty Cash certainly fantasized about facing Mbappe at the World Cup when he decided to represent Poland instead of England.

Mbappe attempted nine dribbles, five more than any other player on the field, and had five shots and eleven touches in the opponent’s penalty area. The Aston Villa fullback held his own on occasion, so it was not a complete disaster.


Important Opta Facts:

– Under Didier Deschamps, France has only lost one of their seven World Cup knockout games (including finals), which came in 2014 against eventual champion Germany (1-0 in the quarter-final). Since the loss, they have won each of their last five World Cup knockout games.

– Mbappe has scored five goals in four games at the 2022 World Cup, already exceeding his goal total from his 2018 World Cup campaign (four goals in seven appearances). Mbappe is also the youngest French player in World Cup knockout stage history (since 1966) to score and assist (23y, 349d).

In four games at the 2022 World Cup, Antoine Griezmann has generated 15 chances, the most of any player in the tournament. This is already the most chance a French player generates in a World Cup tournament in the 21st century.


This game marked Lloris’ 142nd appearance for France, tying him with Lilian Thuram for the most appearances in French national team history. This was his 32nd participation at a significant event, tying him with Thuram (32) for the most World Cup and European Championship appearances combined for Les Bleus.

– Since 2002, Poland has not lost consecutive World Cup games by multiple goals (2-0 v South Korea and 4-0 v Portugal).

What follows?

France advances to meet the winner of England vs. Senegal next Saturday, while Poland is eliminated from the tournament in Qatar.


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