France are through to the Quarter Finals after a 4-3 victory over Argentina.
In one of the games of the tournament so far France took the lead through an Antoine Griezmann penalty after Kylian Mbappe raced past Marcus Rojo and the Argentinian dragged him down. Argentina weren’t really in the game until Angel Di Maria picked the ball up 30 yards out and fired the ball into the top corner. Argentina took the lead just after halftime when Lionel Messi took a shot at goal and it deflected off Gabriel Mercado and into the net.
France levelled things up with their own wondergoal through Benjamin Pavard, the ball was crossed in from the left and found its way all the way to Pavard who volleyed into the top corner. Mbappe then took the game away from Argentina with a couple of goals. The first came after the ball dropped to him in the area: he shifted the ball away from the defenders and fired past the keeper. The second came when a France counter attack led to Olivier Giroud poking the ball through for Mbappe to race away and slot past Franco Armani.
It looked as though the game was over but Argentina gave it a dramatic ending when Messi played the ball into Sergio Aguero who headed home, but it was too little too late.
France will now go into the Quarter Final to face either Uruguay or Portugal.
5 things to take away from the match
The young frenchman is already known in football, particularly around Europe. But in the game against Argentina he announced himself to the world. Mbappe caused Argentina problems all day long: he single-handedly won the penalty for the opening goal using his blistering pace to get away from Javier Mascherano, forcing Marcus Rojo into fouling him. He also scored two goals to take the game away from Argentina in the second half and both of them were excellent finishes. Mbappe has gotten himself noticed and when you consider the last teenager to score two goals in a single World Cup knockout game was Pele, he’s in pretty good company.
Angel Di Maria’s wondergoal
When Argentina were struggling to get themselves back into the game after falling behind, what they really needed was a moment of quality — somebody to drag them forwards. Everybody was looking towards Lionel Messi but it was Angel Di Maria who produced. The PSG man picked up the ball around thirty yards from goal, and when he wasn’t closed down, brought the ball out of his feet and rifled it into the top corner with an unstoppable strike. The goal will have to be a contender for goal of the tournament.
Benjamin Pavard’s reply
Di Maria’s goal was enough to keep any football fan happy, so when Benjamin Pavard created his own moment of magic he was spoiling us. The ball was crossed in from the left wing but there were no shirts from either side to meet it, until the ball reached Pavard on the edge of the area. He volleyed the ball back across the keeper and into the top corner, outdoing Di Maria’s wonder goal as if one wasn’t enough.
A Messi end?
Could we have seen the end of Lionel Messi at the World Cup? By the time the next World Cup begins, Messi will be 34 and he will turn 35 during the tournament. He may still have the quality to make it into the squad, but will he want to be a part of it? Messi has threatened to quit the national team a few times, and now more than ever, he may be on the verge of stepping aside. Problems within the squad have been widely reported with some rumours suggesting that Messi himself has been selecting the team rather than the coach Jorge Sampaoli. If this tournament marks the end of Messi’s World Cup career then it would be a sad end.
Time for Messi to retire for Argentina, he’s done his very best in carrying his nation but can’t do it all on his own. His teammates at the back were the blame conceding 4 goals. Messi still my 🐐. pic.twitter.com/cwK697GCZL
— Sam (@VintageSalah) June 30, 2018
n extraordinary game
Having watched plenty of World Cup matches in this tournament, I can safely say that this was one of the better ones, if not the best. The game had plenty of goals and some of them were truly excellent. It was competitive and exciting throughout, even providing late drama when Argentina pulled a goal back. If the other knockout games are half as good as this one then we are in for a real treat.