France into quarter-finals after seven-goal thriller

  • Kylian Mbappe stars in epic 4-3 comeback win for France
  • Argentina and Lionel Messi exit Russia 2018
  • RELIVE: As it happened, stats and more | Post match press conference

In the first of the Round of 16 encounters at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, France defeated Argentina 4-3 in a spectacular game to match their achievement from four years ago and book a place in the quarter-finals.

Proceedings began at a frenetic pace, with not even ten minutes played when Antoine Griezmann curled a free-kick against the crossbar after Kylian Mbappe had been fouled. A few minutes later Mbappe was again brought down, this time in the penalty area, and Greizmann made no mistake from the spot. Argentina needed a spell of possession to compose themselves and digest going behind. They also needed something special to get back into the game, and Angel Di Maria provided it with a stunning long-range strike to bring them level, against the run of play, before the interval.

Buoyed by that equaliser, the South Americans turned the game on its head in the second period. Lionel Messi collected the ball after a free-kick was only half-cleared, and his shot on the turn was diverted into the net by Gabriel Mercado. Les Bleus did not need to wait long to provide the perfect response to going behind, however. Benjamin Pavard scored a wonder goal of his own to make it 2-2, before the irrepressible Mbappe scored twice in four minutes. Argentina replied yet again late on through substitute Sergio Aguero, but it was too little, too late for the South Americans.

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