Record Giroud, sublime Mbappe send France into quarter-finals
Olivier Giroud's record goal and Kylian Mbappe's moments of sheer brilliance sent defending champions France into the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a 3-1 victory against Poland on Sunday.
Les Bleus, who will face either Senegal or England for a spot in the last four, had to dig deep but scored on the stroke of halftime as Giroud became the outright all-time scorer for France with 52 goals before Mbappe's 74th-minute and stoppage-time screamers sealed Poland's fate.
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 at cutting the feeding line to Robert Lewandowski, who reduced the arrears with a 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 Zielenski.
Coach Didier Deschamps had warned that there was more to Poland than Lewandowski and he was proved right at the Al Thumama stadium.
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 was close to being rewarded in the 38th minute when the onrushing Zielinski's shot was parried by Lloris. It then 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.