Defending World Cup champions France continued its quest towards back-to-back titles on Sunday with Kylian Mbappe stealing the show for Les Bleus against Poland.
Mbappe scored twice for Didier Deschamps’ squad while Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time goalscorer in a 3-1 Round of 16 victory over Poland. Les Bleus will now prepare for their toughest matchup yet, a quarterfinal date with England on Saturday.
France began the match on the front foot, forcing Wojciech Szczesny into four saves in the opening 35 minutes. Aurelien Tchouameni, Ousmane Dembele, and Mbappe were all denied by the Juventus goalkeeper as Poland’s backline stood up to the early tests. Although, France eventually found its breakthrough goal before halftime.
Mbappe’s through ball pass allowed Giroud to slot past his former Arsenal teammate, propelling Les Bleus into a 1-0 advantage.
France fought to add to its lead in the second half with Antoine Griezmann being denied by Szczesny. Mbappe’s top-shelf finish in the 74th minute though would give France its two-goal advantage as the 23-year-old called his own number with a second-half missile.
Mbappe doubled his tally in stoppage time, sending a shot into the top-right corner of Szczesny’s goal, continuing his impressive tournament.
Robert Lewandowski’s penalty-kick goal proved to be a mere consolation for Poland as Czeslaw Michniewicz’s squad suffered elimination. Hugo Lloris originally denied Lewandowski from the spot, but the Tottenham keeper was ruled off his line too early and the Barcelona strike did not miss on his second attempt.
England 3, Senegal 0
(Jordan Henderson 38′, Harry Kane 45+3′, Bukayo Saka 57′)
England booked its place in the quarterfinals on Sunday after breezing past Senegal 3-0 in Round of 16 action.
Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane scored before halftime while Bukayo Saka added an insurance goal in the second half. Jordan Pickford registered a one-save clean sheet for the Three Lions.
After a strong start by Senegal in the opening minutes, England struck first with Jordan Henderson delivering the opening goal. Harry Kane played Jude Bellingham upfield with a pass before Bellingham’s cut-back was slotted home by Henderson past Edouard Mendy.
England’s final counter-attack of the half was capped by Kane’s one-time finish past Mendy after Phil Foden picked out the Tottenham forward. Bellingham springed England upfield before Foden and a wide-open Kane connected for a 2-0 advantage.
England kept its foot on the gas in the second half with Foden registering his second assist of the match. Foden streaked up the left wing before his low cross was chipped home by Saka for his third goal of the tournament.
Gareth Southgate’s squad held on for a shutout win and a date with France next weekend.