France beat Poland to reach quarterfinals

France is once again among the top eight at the World Cup, for the third consecutive edition. With a historic goal by Giroud and two great goals and an assist by Mbappé, Les Bleus got the better of Lewandowski and Szczesny, beat Poland 3-1 at the Al Thumama stadium, today (4), and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Qatar Cup, joining the Netherlands and Argentina.

Now, France is waiting for the match between England and Senegal in a little while, at 4 pm (Brasília time), to meet their next opponent in Qatar. Whoever wins will face the French in the quarterfinals next Saturday (10), also at 4 pm, at Al Bayt.

Best goalkeeper in the group stage of the Cup, Szczesny entered the field with the most complicated mission so far: to stop Mbappé and co. But he couldn’t. With two great goals in the second half, the 23-year-old striker reached nine goals in World Cups — surpassing Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo, both with eight — and even isolated himself in the artillery of the tournament in Qatar, now with five goals.

Benzema Reserve, Giroud was also featured. He won the starting position after the injury to the Real Madrid striker before the start of the Cup and, so far, he has been doing the job. With the goal, the first for France in the match and his third in the tournament, he reached 52 for the French national team and isolated himself as the greatest scorer in the history of the French national team, leaving behind the star Thierry Henry.

Poland, in turn, loses the chance to stay alive and thus equal its best campaigns in the history of the World Cups. In 1974 and 1982, Lewandowski’s country had great campaigns and took third place.

France starts at the top…

Kylian Mbappé disputes the ball with Krychowiak and Zielinski in the Round of 16 match between France and Poland - Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images - Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Image: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The first few minutes of the game at Al Thumama were all for France. While Poland barely made it past midfield, Mbappé and co. they used patience —and speed— to give Szczesny a hard time, named best goalkeeper in the group stage. In all, however, he proved to be quite confident, as in a strong kick by Koundé from the middle that he saved in the low right corner.

Poland threatens backlash

Lewandowski and Tchouameni challenge for the ball in the round of 16 match between France and Poland in the Qatar Cup - picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I - picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I
Image: picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

It was only at 20min that Poland, finally, managed to leave the defense field and scare France. And do you know who? With Lewandowski, of course, with a bomb from the entrance to the area that went close. There were two good arrivals until the French were again in danger, especially taking advantage of flaws in the Polish ball output.

At 28, the score was only not opened by one detail. Frankowski missed a pass in the defense, Dembélé received it from Griezmann on the right side of the area and crossed low. But the pass came out too strong, and Giroud, completely alone and with the goal in front of him, was unable to send the ball into the net even though he arrived with a cart.

Lloris saves goal in historic game

Hugo Lloris, goalkeeper of France, in a match against Poland.  - Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images - Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Image: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

If Dembelé and Giroud scared the 28th minute, at the 37th minute it was Poland’s turn to arrive with even more danger, in the great chance of the first half (until the goal). And if the Poles had Szczesny, France had Lloris, who entered the field in his 142nd game with Les Bleus and became the player with the most appearances in the history of the selection, equaling Lilian Thuram, world champion in 1998.

Taking advantage of the exposed right side of the French defense, Bereszynski passed Koundé on the left wing and crossed with a deflection; Zielinski tried two strong kicks, Lloris and Theo Hernández blocked, and, in the spare, Kaminski finished cross. The ball went past Lloris, but Varane took it over the line!

52 times Giroud!

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for France against Poland, in a match valid for the round of 16 of the Qatar Cup - Alex Grimm/Getty Images - Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Image: Alex Grimm/Getty Images

When the game seemed to go 0-0 into the break, a very well-crafted move finally made France overcome the Polish defense and Szczesny. Conscious, the French team was patient until they found Mbappé, who raised his head and made the pass to find Giroud; free kick in the area, the striker finished off the cross and scored on 44 minutes.

Giroud’s goal was historic. Substitute for the injured Benzema, he reached 52 and became France’s all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing star Thierry Henry. In the second half, he almost let another one, which would be a great goal, from bicycle, after Szczesny punches away the ball. However, the referee had already pointed out a lack of Varane in Cash.

Mbappé shines and isolates himself in artillery in Qatar

Kylian Mbappé scored France's second goal against Poland in the round of 16 of the Qatar Cup - Elsa/Getty Images - Elsa/Getty Images
Image: Elsa/Getty Images

Before Poland could complicate the confrontation, Mbappé showed once again why he is one of the great strikers of today. On the counterattack, Dembélé received it from Giroud on the right, cut inside and reversed for Mbappé. With great coolness, the attacker chose the best decision and kicked hard at the top to expand, at 28min.

Already in the additions, there was more goal from him. Thuram faced Cash’s marking on the left wing and served Mbappé in the penalty area. The number 10 kicked in place and Szczesny even touched the ball, but it goes into the corner. Thus, Mbappé reached nine goals in World Cups and isolated himself in the scorer of the Qatar Cup, now with five.

Lewa scores before saying goodbye to Qatar

Lewandowski and Tchouameni challenge for the ball in the round of 16 match between France and Poland in the Qatar Cup - picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I - picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I
Image: picture alliance/dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

Before saying goodbye to the Qatar Cup, Lewa was able to score for Poland, with a penalty in the last shot of the game after ball in the hand of Upamecano. At the first chance, with a little stop, he stopped in the hands of Lloris, but the referee ordered a repeat of the kick after the goalkeeper went ahead. On Monday, again with a short stop, he went to the nets, but it was too late for the reaction.

You can’t, Koundé!

A member of France's coaching staff helped Koundé remove his collars during the match - Reproduction - Reproduction
Image: Reproduction

Koundé entered the field against Poland wearing necklaces around his neck, something that is prohibited by FIFA. Still in the first stage, assistant 1, Jorge Urrego Martínez, noticed the accessories and forced the French national team player to take them off. A member of the French coaching staff went to the player to remove the jewelry.


France 3 x 1 Poland

Competition: 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16
Place: Stadium Al Thumama in Doha (QAT)
Date and time: December 4, 2022, at 12:00 (Brasília time)
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela Saez (Venezuela)
Assistants: Jorge Urrego Martínez and Tulio Moreno (both from Venezuela)
Yellow cards: Tchouameni (France), Bereszynski (Poland)
goals: Giroud (France), 44min into the first half; Mbappé (France), at 29min and 46min, and Lewandowski (Poland), at 54min of the second half
Public: 40,989
France🇧🇷 Lloris; Koundé (Disasi), Varane, Upamecano and Theo Hernández; Tchouaméni (Fofana) and Rabiot; Dembélé (Coman), Griezmann and Mbappé; Giroud (Thuram). Technician: Didier Deschamps
Poland🇧🇷 Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik and Kiwior (Bednarek); Cash, Krychowiak (Bielik), Szymanski (Milik) and Frankowski (Grosicki); Zielinski, Kaminski (Zalewski) and Lewandowski🇧🇷 Technician: Czeslaw Michniewicz

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