Kylian Mbappe upstaged Lionel Messi as France recorded a 4-3 win over Argentina in a topsy-turvy last-16 clash to open the knockout stages at the World Cup.
Teenager Mbappe was in devastating form in the heavyweight clash in Kazan, scoring two second-half goals to bring Argentina’s tumultuous campaign in Russia to an end.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward’s surging 70-yard burst also led to the opener after 13 minutes, Antoine Griezmann slotting home from the penalty spot after Mbappe had been hauled down by Marcos Rojo.
Yet Argentina turned the game around to go ahead, Angel Di Maria’s stunning long-range strike before the break followed by Gabriel Mercado’s fortuitous effort early in the second half.
However, Benjamin Pavard matched Di Maria’s effort with an outstanding equaliser in the 57th minute before Mbappe took centre stage, securing Didier Deschamps’ side a place in the quarter-finals, where they will play either Uruguay or Portugal.
Messi – who will face questions over his international future in the aftermath of the defeat – did set up a late header for Sergio Aguero but it was not enough to save Argentina, with the beaten finalists from 2014 slipping out of this year’s tournament.