Giroud and Mbappe send France into quarter-finals with Poland win


Olivier Giroud netted a record goal to send defending champions France into the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Poland.

Les Bleus, who now face England for a spot in the last four, scored on the stroke of halftime as Giroud became their all-time record scorer with 52 goals before Mbappe's late screamers sealed Poland's fate and put the 23-year-old alone at the top of the scoring chart with five goals and two assists.

Poland, in the knockout stage for the first time since 1986 and looking for a first quarter-final appearance since 1982, had a huge chance in the first half but the France midfield did a great job of cutting the feeding line to Robert Lewandowski, who reduced the arrears with a twice-taken, last-second penalty.

Keeper Hugo Lloris made his 142nd appearance and is now tied with Lilian Thuram as France's most-capped player, and his experience mattered when he made a superb quick save to deny Piotr Zielinski.

Coach Didier Deschamps had warned that there was more to Poland than Lewandowski and he was proved right at the Al Thumama stadium as the French were at times shaky at the back.

"It's not been easy because they're a well-organised team and we had to make some positional changes at halftime," said Deschamps.

"We're a united squad and tonight the players' impeccable behaviour has been rewarded. Now we're going to spend a little bit of time with our families."

France got off to a dominant start before abandoning possession, looking to create space in the back of the Polish defence after Mbappe's first forays failed to lead to clear chances.

Poland's poise came close to being rewarded in the 38th minute when the onrushing Zielinski's shot was parried by Lloris. It came back into the midfielder's path but his second attempt was deflected by Theo Hernandez.

Jakub Kaminski followed, only for his shot to be saved close to the goal-line by Raphael Varane.

"We fought, we created a couple of chances, some really clear ones, especially in the first half; it’s a pity nothing went in," said Lewandowski.

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