Kylian Mbappe bags brace as France advances with win over Denmark
France sealed a spot in the knockout rounds of the 2022 World Cup with a 2-1 win over Denmark at Stadium 974 in Doha on Saturday.
Kylian Mbappe’s 61st-minute goal was answered by Andreas Christensen, but the French wizard completed his brace in the 86th minute to score his 14th goal in his last 12 matches for France.
Antoine Griezmann assisted Mbappe’s late winner as France’s bid to become the third team to repeat as World Cup champions continues to look strong ahead of a group stage finale with Tunisia on Wednesday.
For Denmark, it will need to beat Australia after the Socceroos toppled Tunisia earlier Saturday and hope that Tunisia doesn’t surprise the already-through French as goal differential could come into play.
Mbappe puts pair of dents in Denmark’s durable defense
The reigning World Cup champions are no stranger to scoring boatloads of goals -- ask Australia -- but even the removal of Denmark’s captain didn’t change how strong the Danes defending has been in Qatar.
It was Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson, not Simon Kjaer, who joined Andreas Christensen and Joachim Andersen in stifling Les Bleus this time, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was there when needed with three saves and six recoveries.
The French center forward made the most of good service from Theo Hernandez on the first goal and an impeccable pass from Antoine Griezmann on the second as Denmark pushed France all the way.
Still, France took 20 of the game’s 28 shots and won the xG battle 2.35 to 0.61. Rivals will hope that the set piece goal is a way to beat the champs but France was otherwise solid again in its bid to win a second-straight World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe goal video: Come the hour (mark), come the man
Andreas Christensen goal video: Set piece equalizer for Danes
Kylian Mbappe goal video: Griezmann’s sweet service seals win
How to watch France vs Denmark live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11am ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Key storylines, players to watch closely
Denmark’s defenders were ready for Tunisia but its midfield could not dictate the pace and its forwards were nearly non-existent. To say France presents a bigger challenge for Andreas Skov Olsen, Kasper Dollberg, or whoever else Denmark puts in attack is an understatement.
France, meanwhile, allowed an early goal to the Socceroos before turning on the style for most of the remainder of the patch. Antoine Griezmann looks especially lively for Les Bleus after contract issues limited his minutes for Atletico Madrid earlier this season.
France quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema
Denmark quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 10
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group F)
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Key players: Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer, Christian Eriksen