Kylian Mbappé helped France qualify for next year’s European Championship by scoring twice in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Friday for a perfect sixth victory in Group B.
Before Friday’s match at the Johan Cruyff Arena, there was talk that the 24-year-old French captain was out of form after failing to score in four matches for Paris Saint-Germain, but international duty has quickly ended the drought.
Mbappé opened the scoring in the seventh minute by beating Lutsharel Geertruida on a cross from the right by Jonathan Clauss to volley past Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, who was making his debut for the Netherlands.
It was Mbappé’s 41st international goal, putting him level with French great Michel Platini. France’s all-time top scorer, Olivier Giroud, came off the bench in the second half but was unable to add to his 54 goals.
Mbappé doubled the lead in the 53rd minute, exchanging passes with Adrien Rabiot at the edge of the Netherlands penalty area before firing a shot over Verbruggen.
Feyenoord midfielder Quilindschy Hartman, making his first full international appearance, made it 2-1 with 10 minutes remaining by beating Mike Maignan at the French goalkeeper’s near post. It was the first goal conceded by France, vice-world champion, in the qualifying group.
The Netherlands’ second defeat to France in qualifying leaves them in third place behind Greece, who beat Ireland 2-0 on Friday to move into second place.
Associated Press reporting.
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