Kylian Mbappe scores twice to lead France to World Cup quarters


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It’s Mbappe’s World Cup until proven otherwise, and there was no evidence to the contrary on Sunday.

It is the last World Cup for Messi and Ronaldo, but it just might be that the torch passed to the French sensation Kylian Mbappe four years ago, when he led Les Bleus to the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Now, he is merely carrying it.

Mbappe was magic in France’s 3-1 Round of 16 win over Poland, scoring two brilliant goals and guiding the French past in what turned into a routine victory.

Though Olivier Giroud opened the scoring near the first half’s death, it was Mbappe who sealed it at 74 minutes. On a counterattacking move, the ball came to Mbappe on the left side of the box. So calm and composed that he essentially walked up to it amid open play, Mbappe smashed it to the near side, doubling the lead.

Kylian Mbappe (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal for France in their World Cup win over Poland on Dec. 4, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images
Kylian Mbappe, who turns 24 on December 20, has as many World Cup goals as Argentina's Lionel Messi, with nine.
Kylian Mbappe, who turns 24 on December 20, has as many World Cup goals as Argentina’s Lionel Messi, with nine.
Getty Images

Later, in the 91st minute, Mbappe got it in the same area. This time, he bent it to the far side, as if to show off.

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty on the game’s last kick as consolation, but it is Mbappe, with five goals in the tournament, to lead the running for the Golden Boot — awarded to the top goal scorer of the tournament — who will be the object of conversation.

He is picking up right where he left off in Russia when he became the youngest French player to score at a World Cup and the second teenager ever to score in a World Cup final — the first being Pele.

Follow all the 2022 World Cup action with more from the New York Post

France dominated the play in this one, never looking threatened by a Polish squad that spent the tournament looking for a way to attack in vain. Les Bleus look very much on their way to another run, and they would be the first to win it twice in a row since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.

Certainly, it is safe to say they have the tournament’s best player.

France will play the winner of Sunday’s England-Senegal match in the quarterfinal.

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