France 8-0 Kazakhstan: Kylian Mbappe scores four times for world champions to book Qatar place
UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, Parc des Princes: France 8 (Mbappe 6’, 12’, 32’, 87’, Benzema 55’, 59’, Rabiot 75’, Griezmann 84’), Kazakhstan 0
France's forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification football match between France and Kazhakstan at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on November 13, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
Kylian Mbappe bagged four helping France to a resounding 8-0 win over Kazakhstan which secures the holder's place in the World Cup finals.
The Paris Saint Germain phenomenon scored with a measured volley, then tapped home an open goal after Kingsley Coman rounded the goalkeeper and squared for him, before powering a header home from a Coman centre to secure a treble within the first half-hour.
In the second half his strike partner Karim Benzema netted a brace the first from a pull back from Theo Hernandez and then an open goal which Mbappe unselfishly squared for him.
Adrien Rabiot powered home a header and Antoine Griezmann slotted home a penalty before Mbappe put a bow on the night by racing to make Moussa Diaby's imperfect through-ball absolutely perfect as he left the defenders flat-footed and scored another.
France will top Group D, holding a four-point lead over Finland, where they will play their final game on Tuesday. Kazakhstan prop up the group with three points.
Usually when a team looks to retain a World Cup or win a second major tournament they are generally a less attractive version of the first side. It does not seem like this will be the case with this France side.
Any team with Mbappe cannot be boring but the addition of Kingsley Coman tearing sides down the right and Theo Hernandez as a dynamic force on the left, combined with Benzema's continued late career flourish and Griezmann back to his best means they are likely to be the most exciting side in Qatar.
The presence of N'Golo Kante and Adrien Rabiot means these attack-minded players can afford to have fun. Granted they will not be playing Kazakhstan in the final but don't be surprised to see the scoops, rabonas and overhead kicks repeated. They have every chance of winning again, but are absolutely guaranteed to delight viewers this time next year.
MAN OF THE MATCH - KYLIAN MBAPPE (FRANCE)
The legacy of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is a Sergey Bubka level bar for the next generation of players to climb but Mbappe is the man from his generation who can emulate them. A one in three scoring rate for France, compared to getting close to a goal a game for Paris St Germain, albeit one of his came in a World Cup final. He went some way to bridging the chasm here.
His first and third goals were very different but showed the variety of goals he can put away with ease. His fourth, was reminiscent of the original Ronaldo, perhaps the player last blessed with equivalent touch and pace, a through-ball which was 70-30 in the defender's favour became his and turbo speed did not hinder a perfect finish. Turning 21 next month, he could not kick another ball and have a great career to speak of but, if he gets luck with injuries and demands self-motivation, he will threaten the magnificent duo's records by the time he is 30.
France's forward Kylian Mbappe reacts at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification football match between France and Kazakhstan at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on November 13, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
6' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Lovely play on the left from Hernandez hitting a first time left foot cross from the by-line towards Mbappe who side-foot volleys inside the near post.
12' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Aided by crazy keeping here. Pokatilov ran out to try to clear on the France right flank but Coman beat him to the ball, took it around the keeper and then squared first time for Mbappe who slotted into an empty net.
32' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Kane got a hat-trick yesterday and Mbappe has one today. A fine cross from Coman and a powerful header from eight yards out leaving the keeper with no chance.
56' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Hernandez races to the by-line and just manages to cut the ball back to the six-yard box where Benzema slots inside the near post.
60' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Joyous stuff as Mbappe is set free by Benzema in the left hand side of the area and with the keeper ready to stop his shot, squares for an open goal for his strike partner who nets his second.
75' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Rabiot powers home a header from a corner to make it six for France with his first international goal.
83' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Griezmann missed his last three penalties for France but makes no mistake with this one sending the keeper the wrong way.
88' GOAL FOR FRANCE! It didn't even look a great through-ball from Diaby but Mbappe outsped the defence and slid home.