Mbappe scores twice as France reach knockout stage

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  1. Kylian Mbappe scored twice for France as the defending champions laid down a World Cup marker by beating Denmark to become the first team into the knockout stage.

The forward stole the show once again with second-half strikes to take his side through.

Mbappe had earlier blazed over from 12 yards and forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save with a rising shot.

But the Paris St-Germain star broke the deadlock just past the hour mark, exchanging a fine one-two with Theo Hernandez before stroking in.

Denmark equalised just seven minutes later with their first effort on target as defender Andreas Christensen headed home at the far post after France failed to clear a corner.

Christensen, though, may have counted himself lucky to still be on the pitch at that point after receiving only a yellow card on 20 minutes for dragging back Mbappe, who was looking to run clear.

France keeper Hugo Lloris made a sharp stop to keep out Tottenham team-mate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s first-time shot, while Martin Braithwaite agonisingly fired into the side netting.

Four years ago Mbappe became France’s youngest scorer in the competition when aged 19.

And with four minutes left, he snatched the winner, sneaking in at the far post to convert Antoine Griezmann’s cross.