Saturday, 30 June 2018

France Knocks Lionel Messi and Argentina Out of 2018 World Cup

Messi leaves after a frustrating tournament in which Argentina barely escaped a humiliating elimination in the group stage. But he ended up like all his major tournaments with Argentina's senior national team: without a trophy, and while carrying the burden of a team's defeat on his light shoulders. At age 31, you can choose to make this your last World Cup.

For a few minutes in the second half, it almost seemed that Argentina's troubled trip in this World Cup could be extended. Angel Di Maria scored a magnificent long-range goal just before halftime, and then Gabriel Mercado converted a low shot from Messi three minutes into the second half for a 2-1 lead.

But France was just too good. Youth forward Kylian Mbappé won a penalty in the first half with a three-quarter field career, then scored two goals of his own four minutes apart to nail the knife in Argentina.

Antoine Griezmann scored the first goal of France, converting the penalty that Mbappé had won, and right-back Benjamin Pavard cut in the second of France in the 57th minute - a goal volleyed equal to Di Maria's stunner - after some nervous moments at beginning of half time.

After pulling even, France simply walked away. Mbappé regained the advantage of his team with the genius of a veteran in the 64th minute, calmly found space in the area to tear home the goal of the advantage.

Then, four minutes later, he finished a fluid play that started deep in the middle of France by scoring his second goal of the day - and the third of the tournament - beyond the Argentine keeper Franco Armani.

Argentina had a deep final save in the time of discount, when the substitute Sergio Agüero headed a cross of Messi, the second attendance of Messi in the game. But Argentina needed one more, and in two minutes, and Messi, they were out of time.

France will play on Friday the winner of the second game on Saturday, Uruguay vs. Portugal, in Nizhny Novgorod.

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