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.