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SPORTS UPDATE

Qatar 2022: Mbappe double sinks Denmark and takes France into W/Cup last 16

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France became the first side to book their place in the last-16 of the World Cup, sealed with a 2-1 win over Denmark.

They were on track to get the job done with a match to spare when Mbappe put them in front in the second-half, but the defending champions were pegged back as Andreas Christensen equalised from a corner.

However, with four minutes remaining, France’s star man bundled the ball home from close-range to restore the lead and ensure the defending champions are through to the knockout stages with minimal fuss.

Denmark, meanwhile, must beat Australia if their World Cup campaign is to continue.

The Danes dominated possession in the early stages at Stadium 974, but the threat of France on the counter was clear to see. Ousmane Dembele was a constant danger down the right, while Mbappe’s pace resulted in Christensen rugby-tackling the Frenchman to the ground as he threatened to burst through on goal.

Adrien Rabiot’s header was saved by Kasper Schmeichel, before Antoine Griezmann fired straight at the goalkeeper from an incredibly tight angle.

The majority of France’s 13 first-half shots were blocked, though the biggest chance came to Mbappe as Dembele picked out his team-mate perfectly in the box. Unmarked on the penalty spot, he blazed the first-time effort over the bar.

Griezmann should have put France in front after the break as he found himself clean through on goal, the finish instead sent well over, but Les Blues did not have to wait much longer to get their goal.

On the hour mark, Mbappe slid the ball through to Theo Hernandez, got it back from the left-back and fired a finish past Schmeichel into the far corner for his second goal of the World Cup.

That lead lasted just seven minutes though, as Denmark responded well to falling behind. A corner was flicked on at the near post and Christensen followed it in to head home at close-range and level things up.

France were stirred back into life after that equaliser, a couple of headers going close from corners before Rabiot’s acrobatic volley flew just over Schmeichel’s goal.

The match looked to be heading for a draw, but there was still time for Griezmann to curl a brilliant cross into the box and Mbappe was there to divert it goalwards with his thigh from a matter of yards, drawing level with Enner Valencia at the top of the early Golden Boot standings.

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