Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in four minutes to send a youthful France charging into the World Cup quarter-finals with a thrilling 4-3 win over Argentina on Saturday that sent Lionel Messi’s team home, Reuters reports.
The 19-year-old forward’s electric pace caused Argentina problems all afternoon and his twin strikes helped France overturn a 2-1 deficit at the Kazan Arena as they set up a meeting with Uruguay or Portugal, who play later on Saturday.
Messi provided assists for two goals but the 31-year-old was otherwise subdued in the “false nine” role and his fourth, and possibly final, crack at winning the World Cup was destined to end in disappointment.
While Mbappe was the most influential player on the pitch, Argentina winger Angel Di Maria and France full back Benjamin Pavard fought out a private contest for the best goal of the match with two magnificent long-range strikes.
Di Maria’s goal canceled out Antoine Griezmann’s early penalty for France just before the break while Pavard’s in the 57th minute leveled the scores at 2-2 after Argentina had edged ahead through Gabriel Mercado.
Mbappe, the first teenager since Brazilian great Pele in the 1958 final to score two goals in one World Cup match, then took over to send Argentina slumping out of the finals before the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002.
Griezmann’s strike from the spot was not as clean as his free kick but goalkeeper Franco Armani went the wrong way and the Frenchman converted his second penalty of tournament.