Nineteen-year-old French boy, Kylian Mbappe scored a brace to destroy Argentina’s world cup dreams in a 4-3 thrilling defeat of the South American giants in Kazan, Russia on Saturday to send France to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
The Paris Saint Germain star was a thorn in the flesh of Messi’s Argentina from the beginning and three people who stopped him in his first three touches all bagged yellow cards, as he earned two free-kicks and a penalty for the Les Bleus.
Atletico Madrid striker stepped forward and coolly converted perfectly to put his country 1-0.
Mbappe had sprinted from his own half until he was hauled down by Marcos Rojo for the penalty. The defender had no other way of stopping him.
However, four minutes to the end of first half, following France’s lethargy and lasses-fairez when they could have sealed the game, Angel di Maria powered in the equalizer for Argentina off a harmless throw-in from the left.
That goal re-injected confidence into his team and they became stronger, surging ahead three minutes after resumption of play with Gabriel Mercado deflecting in a Lionel Messi shot from close range.
If Di Maria’s strike in the 41st minute was brilliant, Benjamin Pavard shot to make it 2-2 in the 57th minute was fabulous – dashing down from the back on the right to connect a nice cross from the left.
The man of the match, Mbappe capped a brilliant display with two goals in the 64th and 68 minutes to make sure Argentina’s world dreams ended in a nightmare.
He became the first under-20 player since Pele to score a brace in the knockout phase and to also net three goals in football’s biggest event.
With Argentina’s exit, it has become more likely that Messi (31) will end his career without winning a world cup.