France Thrashes Kazakhstan 8-0, Qualifies For World Cup

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Four goals from Kylian Mbappe helped holders France thrash Kazakhstan 8-0 to reach the Qatar 2022 World Cup finals with a match to spare in their Group D qualifier at PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium.

Coach Didier Deschamps fielded a 3-4-3 formation with Kingsley Coman deployed as a right wing-back and the attack-minded strategy produced an avalanche of goals as France showed how lethal they could be.

The floodgates opened after Mbappe fired France into a sixth-minute lead with a superb first-time shot from a Theo Hernandez assist, with the home side always two gears ahead of the Kazakhs. Mbappe added the second in the 12th minute with a simple finish into an empty net after Coman raced down the right and found him.

Mbappe completed a first-half hat-trick in the 32nd minute when he headed home an inch-perfect cross from Coman.

The French never took their foot off the pedal after the break and soon increased their advantage with two quick goals from Benzema, who poked in the fourth from a Hernandez assist before Mbappe turned provider for Benzema’s second.

Rabiot scored his first international goal in the 75th minute as he headed in Griezmann’s corner before the Atletico Madrid forward netted his 42nd goal for France with a penalty, overtaking Michel Platini as his country’s third-highest top scorer.

France forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates goal against Kazakhstan

The brilliant Mbappe put the icing on the cake three minutes before the end with a sublime finish into the bottom-right corner from a fine assist by substitute Moussa Diaby, with the home crowd already in full swing.

The result left France top of the group on 15 points from seven games, four ahead of second-placed Finland who they visit in their final match on Tuesday.

Benzema was delighted after combining with Mbappe to devastating effect up front.

“We’ve shown that we are compatible, that we can play together and have fun while scoring, creating goals and playing for the team,” Benzema said after the match.

“I am so happy to have played as I did and above all to have won.”

UEFA World Cup qualification results

Bosnia 1-3 Finland

France 8-0 Kazakhstan

Belgium 3-1 Estonia

Wales 5-1 Belarus

Norway 0-0 Latvia

Turkey 6-0 Gibraltar

Montenegro 2-2 Netherlands

 

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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