France vs Poland 3-1: Mbappe and Giroud Demolish the Poles

The France vs. Poland World Cup clash was perhaps one of the most lopsided Round of 16 matchups on paper, at least based on what was seen during the Group Stage. Kylian Mbappe made things even more easier that expected for Les Bleus, as he scored twice on top of Olivier Giroud’s opener to build his side a comfortable three goal cushion.

Robert Lewandowski pulled one back for Poland from the spot but that was the very last thing that happened in a game where France’s domination never appeared to be in doubt. Didier Deschamps’ side will now face the winner between England and Senegal who square off later today. 

The match at the Al Thumama Stadium had one absolute protagonist: Kylian Mbappe, the most unstoppable player on earth at present time, who added two more goals to his tally to become the solitary tournament top scorer at five. And, he may still have a few more games to increase his score…

Poland had one chance to change the fate of the game when the score was still nil-nil but Piotr Zielinski saw his shot on 38 minutes pushed back by Hugo Lloris, then Raphael Varane cleared Jakub Kaminski’s conversion attempt right on the goal line. From then one, the match followed only one direction – the French one.

Right before half time, Mbappe showed that he can also be a provider, with a clinical filtering pass for Giroud, who dashed past Jakub Kiwior and put the ball past Wojciech Szczesny with a sharp left foot conclusion. It was the 52nd goal scored with Les Bleus by the Milan forward, who thus became the all-time top scorer for France, ahead of a certain Thierry Henry…  

France’s second came on 74 minutes, courtesy of a brutal strike into the top right corner of poor Szczesny’s goal powered by the PSG star, who finalized for the best a counterattack action ignited by Ousmane Dembélé. Mbappe then made it three with another unstoppable conclusion, this time serviced by Marcus Thuram. The Poles had simply no answer.   

Before the full time whistle, there was still time for Lewandowski to bury the spot and catch his second World Cup goal. The Barcelona man was initially denied by Lloris, but the referee ordered the penalty to be retaken as the French players entered the area before the conversion.

Lewandowski made no mistake the second time, making Poland’s loss a little less bitter but no less unquestionable. In any case, there would not have been many teams able to match a Kylian Mbappe in such a form today…  



December 4, 2022 – FIFA World Cup Round of 16

SCORERS: 44′ Giroud (F), 74′ Mbappe (F), 91′ Mbappe (F), 99′ Lewandowski (P, pen.)

FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Koundé (92′ Disasi), Varane, Upamecano, T.Hernandez; Tchouameni (66′ Fofana), Rabiot; Dembelé (76′ Coman), Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud (76′ Thuram) (Mandanda, Areola, Konate, Saliba, Pavard, Veretout, Camavinga, Guendouzi, Kolo Muani) Coach: Deschamps
POLAND (4-5-1): Szczesny; Cash, Glik, Kiwior (87′ Bednarek), Bereszynski; Frankowski (87′ Grosicki), Krychowiak (71′ Bielik), S. Szymański (64′ Milik), Zielinski, Kaminski (71′ Zalewski); Lewandowski (Skorupski, Grabara, Wieteska, Jedrzejczyk, Gumny, D. Szymanski, Zurkowski, Skoras, Swiderski, Piatek) Coach: Michniewcicz
REFEREE: Mr. Valenzuela (Venezuela)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Tchouameni (F), Bereszynski, Cash (P); Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 9′
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