France 3 – 1 Poland

Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time top men’s goalscorer as his opener and Kylian Mbappe’s second-half brace saw the World Cup holders win 3-1 against Poland to take them into quarterfinal.

Giroud scored his 52nd goal in France to surpass Thierry Henry’s record with a fine first-half finish (44) to help Les Bleus secure a Round of 16 victory in Doha and stage a quarter-final against England or Senegal.

The 36-year-old, who had equaled Henry’s tally of 51 after scoring twice in their maiden Group D victory over Australia, broke the record on his 117th appearance for France.


Player ratings

France: Loris (6); Koundé (7), Varane (7), Upamecano (6), Théo Hernandez (7); Tchouameni (6), Rabiot (7), Dembélé (7), Griezmann (7), Mbappé (9); Giroud (8).

Subtitles: Fofana (6), Coman (6), Thuram (6), Disasi (n/a).

Poland: Szczesny (7); Cash (6), Kiwior (5), Glik (5), Bereszynski (5); Kaminski (6), S. Szymanski (6), Krychowiak (6), Zielinski (6), Frankowski (6); Lewandowski (7).

Subtitles: Milik (6), Bielik (6), Zalewski (6).

Man of the match: Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe then doubled France’s lead in the 74th minute before scoring a superb second in stoppage time to score five goals in Qatar – two more than any other player in the tournament.

Robert Lewandowski scored a retaken penalty in the 99th minute to add late consolation for Poland to deny Hugo Lloris a clean sheet in his record 142nd appearance for France.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Kylian Mbappe says his only concern is winning the World Cup for France despite being a top Golden Boot contender with five goals

How France reached the quarter-finals

The highlights of the game…

  • 29 min: Giroud misses a big chance at the far post
  • 38 min: Poland have a clear shot on the line by Varane
  • 44 min: Giroud opens the scoring with a record goal for France
  • 74 mins: Mbappe makes it 2-0 with a powerful strike
  • 90+1 min: Mbappe scores a superb second in the top corner
  • 90+7 min: Poland gets a penalty for Upamecano’s handball
  • 90+8 min: Lewandowski penalty saved but Lloris off his line
  • 90 + 9 min: Lewandowski scores a recovery from the spot

France dominated the opening stages at the Al Thumama stadium and Giroud should have given them a 29th-minute lead by sliding wide at the far post on Ousmane Dembele’s cross.

Poland, in the round of 16 for the first time since 1986, came close to the first clash as Lloris denied Piotr Zielinski before Jakub Kaminski’s rebound was cleared off the line by Raphael Varane.

Hugo Lloris denies Piotr Zielinski
Hugo Lloris saved from Piotr Zielinski to deprive Poland of an opener

France took the lead in the 44th minute when Mbappe slid past Giroud, who took a throw-in before finishing left-footed past Wojciech Szczesny for his third goal of the tournament as he became France’s record top men’s scorer .

Mbappe then gave France a break midway through the second half by firing past Szczesny to make it 2-0 before adding a sublime third into the top corner to prevent Poland from having a first quarter-final World Cup since 1982.

Kylian Mbappé scores France's second goal against Poland
Mbappe scored twice in the win over Poland

It was the 23-year-old’s fourth and fifth goals in Qatar as Mbappe became the first player to score nine World Cup goals before his 24th birthday, having netted as many as Argentina’s Lionel Messi, 35 year.

A handball from French defender Dayot Upamecano earned Lewandowski his second World Cup goal from the spot with the final kick of the game.

The Barcelona striker’s first penalty was saved by Lloris but the French captain didn’t have his feet on the line as Lewandowski scored on the second attempt.

Mbappe: lifting the World Cup, everything that matters to me

France striker Mbappe said: “The only goal for me is to win the World Cup. The only thing I dream of is that.

“I came here to win this World Cup. I didn’t come here to win the Ballon d’Or or the Golden Boot. If I win it, of course I’ll be happy, but it’s not That’s why I’m here. I’m here to win and I’m here to help the France team.”

Mbappe also explained why he didn’t address the media until Sunday saying: “I had to focus on the tournament and my football”, adding that he had volunteered to pay a fine from the French Federation for his silence.

“When I want to focus on something, that’s how I operate. And that’s why I didn’t want to come talk to you until now.

“I’ve been preparing for this tournament all season, physically and mentally. I wanted to be ready for this tournament and I am.”

Deschamps: Giroud is incredible | “We needed a great Mbappé tonight”

Didier Deschamps, France coach: “Giroud is an incredible player, there are many who say it now.

“He was criticized a lot but Olivier has the mindset to fight.

“When he’s not decisive he’s so useful to the team but like any centre-forward he prefers collective victory, but winning with this goalscoring record is not nothing.”

Deschamps added: “He (Mbappe) talks on the football pitch. He knows that himself but he can change a game in an instant. He always plays with such joy.

“France needed a great Kylian Mbappe tonight and they got one.”

Giroud: Childhood dream of breaking the French record

Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring for France against Poland
Giroud scored a record 52nd goal for the French men’s team in Qatar

Giroud, France’s new all-time top men’s scorer, said: “The adventure continues. We said in the dressing room that to have such a great experience, we had to be united, be one.

“My wife and children are here, as well as my childhood friends, it’s a childhood dream come true to beat Titi (Henry).

“Now it’s done, I put that behind me and my obsession is to go as far as possible with this team.”

Michniewicz: There is no recipe for stopping Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring France's second goal against Poland
Mbappe hit a top speed of 35kph (22mph) as he tormented the Polish defense

Poland boss Czeslaw Michniewicz said of Mbappe: “There is no recipe [to stop him]. Nobody knows the recipe, no coach knows the recipe to stop Mbappe in the form he is in.

“He hurt us today but I encourage him because he is a real star.

“I’m talking about (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, Lewandowski. If someone takes over, I think Mbappe will be the best player (for) many years.”

Michniewicz for his part eliminated in the round of 16: “Getting out of the group stage after 36 years was our main objective. We succeeded, but in the next round we faced the world champions.

“We are very sorry, today we are sad and disappointed. The more time passes, the more we will change our perspective. After weeks and months, we can proudly say that we have achieved what Poland did not been able to achieve in 36 years.”

Opta stats: France retain impressive last 16 record

  • France have progressed since the six matches played in the round of 16 of the World Cup, including in each of the last three consecutive editions (2014, 2018 and 2022).
  • Poland have lost consecutive World Cup matches by multiple goals for the first time since 2002 (0-2 against Korea Republic and 0-4 against Portugal).
  • France have lost just one of their seven World Cup Round of 16 games under Didier Deschamps (including the finals), with that defeat coming in 2014 to eventual winners Germany (0 -1 in the quarterfinals). They have won each of their last five games in the World Cup knockout stage since that defeat.
  • Frenchman Olivier Giroud (36 years 65 days) became the oldest player to score in the round of 16 of the World Cup (excluding own goals) since Roger Milla in 1990 against Colombia (38 years 34 days).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *