Olivier Giroud became France’s top scorer with 52 goals as his side won 3-1 in the last 16.
Goals from Olivier Giroud and two from Kylian Mbappe saw France beat Poland 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.
With his goal, Giroud became France’s all-time leading scorer on 52 goals as France dominated the game on Sunday at the Al Thumama Stadium.
He dominated the game from the start, looking to find space behind the Polish defence, but Mbappe’s early moves failed to produce any clear chances.
Poland were in the knockout stages for the first time since 1986 and were looking for their first appearance in the quarter-finals since 1982, but the French midfielder did an excellent job of cutting off their line to feed star player Robert Lewandowski, who reduced the comeback with a double-taken, second penalty. the last one.
French midfielder Hugo Lloris has made 142 appearances and is now tied with Lilian Thuram as France’s most capped player. His experience was needed when he made a quick save against Piotr Zielinski.
Poland’s composure was almost rewarded in the 38th minute when Zielinski’s shot was deflected by Lloris. The ball bounced back into the player’s path, but his second attempt was converted by Theo Hernandez.
Jakub Kaminski followed, only to have his shot saved near the goal line by Raphael Varane.
A minute from the break, however, France’s tactics paid off.
Mbappe drew the defense to him and slotted the ball into the path of Giroud, who took the inch he needed to slot the ball past Szczesny and score his third goal of the tournament.
Giroud, 36, who did not score in Russia four years ago, equaled Thierry Henry on 51 goals after scoring twice as the defenders won 4-1 against Australia in their Group D opener.
Mbappe made it 2-0 with a powerful, high shot that went under the bar before curling another shot into the top corner a minute into injury time.
It was his fourth and fifth goals in Qatar, and Mbappe became the first player to score nine World Cup goals before the age of 24, having previously surpassed 35-year-old Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Mbappe was able to play in two more World Cups at the age of 32.
That helped Mbappe to explore the pain of last year’s European Championship when he missed the penalty that sent Switzerland into the last eight after a shootout following a 3-3 draw.
Dayot Upamecano’s handball gave Lewandowski the chance to score a consolation goal with a penalty that was first saved by Lloris before it was pulled back – and scored – because the keeper didn’t have his feet on the line.
France will play in the quarter-finals against the winner of Sunday night’s clash between England and Senegal.
Coach Didier Deschamps warned that there was more to Poland than Lewandowski, and he was proved right as the French were sometimes shaky at the back.
“It was not easy because they are a well-prepared team and we had to change at the last minute,” said Deschamps.
“We are a united team, and tonight the good behavior of the players paid off,” he said. “Now we will have less time with our families.”