Remembering France vs. Argentina in 2018 World Cup

Jun 30, 2018; Kazan, Russia; France players Florian Thauvin (20) and Kylian Mbappe (10) celebrate after defeating Argentina in the round of 16 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Kazan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, France and Argentina squared off in one of the greatest games in the history of the World Cup. It was Round of 16 and one of two national teams would advance to the quarterfinals. The viewers were in for an intense and bumpy ride.

France would win 4-3, thus sending Lionel Messi and co. home. This match would go down as a classic thriller between two of the biggest national teams in the history of international soccer.

France went undefeated in the group stage and was able to top their group. However, a 2-1 win against Australia, a 1-0 win against Peru, and a scoreless draw against Denmark was regarded as a disappointing performance for Les Bleus, especially when considering all the talent they had on their squad.

Argentina, on the other hand, didn’t have a very good run in their group with a 1-1 draw against Iceland that saw Messi have a penalty saved, a 3-0 loss to Croatia, and a 2-1 win over Nigeria. Argentina was able to secure a spot in the Round of 16 by a stroke of luck.

France vs. Argentina was truly a match for the ages. France had the youngest team of the tournament while Argentina had the oldest. This match simply came down to talent vs. experience. France had the talent but was nowhere near as experienced as the Argentine squad, who also had talent.

France would draw first blood in the 13th minute after Kylian Mbappé was fouled by Argentina’s Marcus Rojo, resulting in France being awarded a penalty, which Antoine Griezmann would successfully convert. In the 41st minute, Ángel Di María would equalize in spectacular fashion.

Three minutes into the second half, Argentina would take a 2-1 lead, courtesy of Gabriel Mercado. It seemed as though Argentina was in control and on their way to win. However, all of a sudden, in the 57th minute, a French defender by the name of Benjamin Pavard would equalize in amazing fashion.

Pavard’s goal would go on to be named the goal of the tournament.

France was back in the game.

Seven minutes later, Mbappé gave France a 3-2 lead. Four minutes after that, Mbappé would add another goal to take a 4-2 lead, simply putting the game away. Mbappé’s two goals would allow him to become the second teenager to score two goals in a World Cup game since Brazil’s Pelé did so in 1958.

Deep into stoppage time, Argentina’s Sergio Agüero would add another, but France held on for the win. Argentina became the first team since 1986 to score three goals in a World Cup match and not win. The game was physical as eight yellow cards were issued.

France went on to win the tournament to claim their second World Cup title. Les Bleus would defeat Uruguay and Belgium to meet Croatia in the final. France ultimately beat Croatia 4-2 to become World Champions on the 20th anniversary of their first world title win.

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