Messi out! Teenage star rips Argentina to shreds
AFTER an incredible 90 minutes, France are through to the World Cup quarter-finals on the back of a stunning 4-3 victory.
Argentina - and their superstar forward Lionel Messi - are out. But not for lack of trying.
Billed as Messi's chance to reignite stuttering Argentina's hopes, the thrilling last 16 clash in Kazan instead saw 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe grab the limelight as he became the youngest player since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a World Cup match.
Mbappe was involved in three of France's four goals, announcing himself to the world as a genuine superstar.
Embattled Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli had promised an "aggressive, attacking" approach from his side.
But his fears over the superior speed of the French strikers were quickly proven right when Mbappe sprinted from his own half until he was hauled down by Marcos Rojo - who was handed a yellow card.
From the resultant penalty, Antoine Griezmann fired France into an early 1-0 lead.
Mbappe's PSG teammate, Argentina's Angel di Maria, levelled the scores just before halftime with a thunderbolt from 30 yards out that flew past a diving Lloris and into the top right-hand corner..
After struggling for much of the first half, Argentina then took a remarkable 2-1 lead shortly after the break when Gabriel Mercado clipped Messi's low curling shot past Hugo Lloris
However, that sparked France into action, with defender Benjamin Pavard hitting a magnificent, technically perfect half-volley with the outside of his right boot to square things up.
Mbappe then stepped into the spotlight, striking in the 64th and 68th minute to change the match in an instant and seal France's place in the last eight.
Argentina pulled back a goal deep into injury time when Sergio Aguero nodded home a Messi cross, but it was too little, too late.
Mbappe had already stolen the show.
When Matuidi's shot was blocked just after the hour, Mbappe was on hand to restore France's lead with a low shot past Armani.
Four minutes later the teenager ran on to Olivier Giroud's perfect pass on a France counter to drive it low past Armani and spark mass celebrations on the French bench.
France will play Uruguay in the quarter-finals.