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Mbappe double advances France to the World Cup round of 16

Mbappe double advances France to the World Cup round of 16

On Saturday, Kylian Mbappe scored twice as reigning champions France defeated Denmark 2-1 to advance as the first team to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar.

After a deft one-two with teammate Theo Hernandez, Mbappe gave France the lead in the Group D match just after the hour mark with a prodded finish. However, Denmark fought back with a thunderous header from defender Andreas Christensen to tie the game.

A late cross from Antoine Griezmann was converted by the Paris Saint-Germain striker, ensuring France’s perfect record as they continue their World Cup championship defense. With 31 goals for France, Mbappe is currently tied for second place on the nation’s all-time scoring chart with Zinedine Zidane.

Following the outcome on Saturday, France now leads Group D with six points, three more than second-place Australia, while Denmark is yet to record a victory with just a point after two games.

France had the better chances in a tight, tense first half as Adrien Rabiot came close with a header and the Danes were pushed into several last-ditch blocks to preserve their clean sheet.

Mbappe gave the French the lead in the 61st minute by capping an excellent high-speed French attack with a bouncing first-time goal off Hernandez’s deft pull-back.

Seven minutes later, Christensen, who is always a threat from set pieces, brought the Danes even by sneaking in behind the defense and stooping to head the ball home.

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In the 80th minute, Rabiot launched a magnificent volley over but neither team appeared pleased with a draw. A minute later, replacement Martin Braithwaite launched a first-time effort of his own but it went just wide of the near post.

When Mbappe came up at the far post in the 86th minute to deflect a close-range Griezmann cross to restore the lead and send the visiting French fans into raptures, it appeared as though the game might end in a tie.

The French held on for the victory that advanced them as Denmark sent everything forward in search of a second equalizer, leaving plenty of space at the back. However, their late attacks against a team they defeated twice in the most recent Nations League campaign lacked finesse.

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