BINTANGNEWS.com – France has emerged victorious from its thrilling battle against Argentina in the round of 16 match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
France’s striker Kylian Mbappe was deservedly man of the match as he scored two goals and set up another that came from a penalty kick.
The 19-year-old, one of the most expensive assets of French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), scored France’s third and fourth goals about a quarter in the second half. It was also his explosive run in the first half that enabled Antoine Griezmann to score from the spot in the 13th minute. Benjamin Pavard scored minutes after Griezmann’s goal.
Argentina’s Angel Di Maria leveled the game with a stunning long-range strike in the 41st minute while Gabriel Mercado put Albiceleste (the title of Argentina's national soccer team) ahead after the break. A solo effort in the stoppage time by Sergio Aguero, who had been benched like some other Argentinean starlets by coach Jorge Sampaoli, was not enough to keep the traditional football powerhouse in the tournament.
To know their opponent in the quarter-finals, the French should wait until later in the day to see who wins the other round of 16 clash between Uruguay and Portugal.
The game in Kazan was also a real test for referee Alireza Faghani. The Iranian, who officiated the Rio Olympics final in 2016, emerged unscathed from many controversial incidents that could have ended his World Cup career.
The World Cup will continue until July 15, when the final is played at Luzhniki stadium in the Russian capital, Moscow. The round of 16 will end on Tuesday with a clash between England and Colombia.***
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