Football

The Joyous Response To A World Cup Classic As France Oust Argentina

The Joyous Response To A World Cup Classic As France Oust Argentina

Theoretically, France vs Argentina was always going be an ideal opener to the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup - but never quite this ideal.

Although a French victory looked certain after Kylian Mbappé grabbed his second goal of a blockbusting afternoon for the PSG man, the build up to that point had been frantic, brilliant, and genuinely held the potential for anything to occur.

After yet another Antoine Griezmann penalty opened the scoring for Didier Deschamps' men, it was another PSG man in the blue & white stripes of Argentina that leveled proceedings; Angel Di Maria scoring one of the goals of the tournament.

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Coming just before half-time, Lionel Messi's strike early into the second-half fell toward the Argentine full-back Gabriel Mercado, who gladly diverted it into Hugo Lloris' net - 2-1 Argentina, but the best was yet to come.

Although it would have been difficult to imagine that Di Maria's goal could be bettered in the same game, France's Benjamin Pavard did just that. By popular consensus, it could well be the goal of the tournament.

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From there, France quickly retook the lead through the 19-year-old Mbappe and never really looked back. Having won the penalty for Griezmann's opener, Mbappe proceeded to quickly grab France's fourth of the afternoon.

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With Argentina clearly struggling to contain any French counter-attack, there were a few half-chances for Jorge Sampaoli's team to reel France back in somewhat - the second-half substitute Sergio Aguero pulling one back for Argentina late on.

However, it was not meant to be. Finishing up 4-3, the general consensus was nevertheless wildly positive. An astonishingly entertaining game by which to open up the knockout stages, excitement for what was yet to come permeated through all watching.

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https://twitter.com/RichieSadlier/status/1013079150993772544

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See Also: Diego Maradona Apologises To Sergio Ramos But Stands By His 'Crack' Claim

Arthur James O'Dea

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