Match Report

IBO Reporter: thestartledsaint

I would like to think that I knew that this game was going to be a cracker, with the two teams involved there is always hope and boy did this game not disappoint. Boy being the operative word.

Neither team, in modern football parlance, laid down a statement of intent during their group campaign. France tip toed to group success while Argentina needed a last minute Marcos Rojo (another one we wanted to buy) winner to proceed. It was the hope that these teams would finally come alive that led me to think it would be a good game.

So the stage was set and it was on at 3 on a Saturday afternoon, what more could you want. Well if you were like me a comfy sofa, can of cider and a bloody TV TO WATCH IT ON. I had already committed to giving a B&B the once over for my wifes cousin who is thinking of buying it. So whilst I was tyre kicking an early Edwardian seafront house in Worthing I was getting online updates and more annoyed with every goal. We retired to a coffe shop for a discussion, which happened to be in the middle of a French market and I ended up listening to a French radio commentary from one of the stalls. I would like to say I could discern from the commentary what was going on, but the French Jonathon Pearce sounded continually excited. A French lady did a lap of her stall with her arms out like an airplane this I took as a signal that the match had ended with a French win.

The coffee shop turn into a pub which turned into a session and so I have only caught the highlights on my phone so far. But I plan to nurse this hangover by watching the whole game later.

Twenty years ago to the day I was sitting in a coffee shop in a French market, no twenty years ago to the day 18 year old Michael Owen was showing the Argentina defence a clean pair of heels and another teenager Kylian Mbappe did the same last night. That is a factoid I got from the BBC and it's so neat I can't pass it off as my own.

Michael Owen's run finished with a great goal, he almost had to barge Paul Scholes out of the way to get his shot off. Well Kylian Mbappe drove forward with the ball with pace and then dropped the gears and went past Marcos Rojo who did barge him over before he could shoot. Antoine Griezmann slotted the penalty away, he did one of those 50/50 penalties that seems to be the popular this World Cup, where the shot is quite central and if the keeper goes the right way he saves it. I guess we as Saints fans are used to unsaveavble penalties, which I'm happy to see Harry Kane adopt (have I just jinked him).

France didn't take the opportunity to extend their lead and as ever this came back to bite them, first the much maligned Angel Di Maria struck a brilliant goal from distance and then after the break France were struck by misfortune, Lionel Messi's shot/pass deflected off Gabriel Mercado to leave Hugo Lloris stranded. After the luck France had with goals in the group stage it would have been a neat place to end the game. But this young France team weren't finished yet and it fell to a World Cup tournament debutant to haul France level. Benjamin Pavard struck an equally brilliant goal from long range that owed a lot to the winger Lucas Hernández tenacity on the left hand side.

Then France stormed ahead and the boy got a goal his earlier run deserved. Lucas Hernández crossed another speculative ball in to the crowded box and Kylian Mbappe's touch found a channel to run into and he shot hard under the diving keeper. He then got his second, a goal where you could see how football and rugby started out as the same game, until the footballers decided to up the skill level and not use their hands. The French drove forward and the ball was passed rightwards when ever an Argentinean came close and it finally fell to Kylian Mbappe who was running like a steam train, he again struck hard and low past Franco Armani. This must have been the French ladies airplane moment.

Argentina probed and they pulled one back with a header from Sergio Agüero (why wasn't he starting) off a Lionel Messi cross. They had another chance in the dying seconds but just like my Friday night kickabout the aging greats were over come by youthful energy.

So France march on to face the other South American light blues, we can't have another cracker, can we? Equally exciting is the thought that the youngest two World Cup squads could meet in the final, Les Bleus could very well make it, less certain is whether Les Rosbifs can follow them.



1 Lloris

2 Pavard - Booked 73'

4 Varane

5 Umtiti

21 Hernández

6 Pogba

13 Kanté

10 Mbappé (Thauvin 89')

7 Griezmann (Fekir 83')

14 Matuidi - Booked 72' (Tolisso 75')

9 Giroud - Booked 90'


3 Kimpembe

8 Lemar

11 Dembélé

12 Tolisso

15 N'Zonzi

16 Mandanda

17 Rami

18 Fekir

19 Sidibe

20 Thauvin

22 Mendy

23 Areola


12 Armani

2 Mercado

17 Otamendi - Booked 90'

16 Rojo - Booked 11' (Fazio 45')

3 Tagliafico - Booked 19'

15 Pérez (Agüero 66')

14 Mascherano - Booked 43'

7 Banega - Booked 50'

22 Pavón (Meza 75')

10 Messi

11 Di María


1 Guzmán

4 Ansaldi

5 Biglia

6 Fazio

8 Acuña

9 Higuaín

13 Meza

18 Salvio

19 Agüero

20 Lo Celso

21 Dybala

23 Caballero

World Cup Last 16


Saturday 30th June 2018

France 4

  • Griezmann 13' (pen)
  • Pavard 57'
  • Mbappé 64', 68'

Argentina 3

  • Di María 41'
  • Mercado 48'
  • Agüero 90'+3

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Attendance: 42,873


  • France 40%
  • Argentina 60%


  • France 9
  • Argentina 10

Shots on Target

  • France 4
  • Argentina 4


  • France 0
  • Argentina 4


  • France 21
  • Argentina 15