Kylian Mbappe’s penalty, which required a retake, brought him within one goal of Michel Platini’s record on France’s all-time scoring list as Greece suffered a 1-0 defeat in their European Championship qualifying match.
Platini, renowned for his exceptional playmaking abilities and goal-scoring prowess during his time with Juventus and the French national team, secured three consecutive Ballon d’Or titles from 1983 to 1985. He possessed an effortless brilliance in both scoring and creating goals, becoming an iconic figure in the sport.
This result marked the fourth consecutive win for the World Cup runners-up France in Group B. They achieved it without conceding a single goal. Mbappe finally took on the role of captain for the national team.
Mbappe’s goal in this match also propelled him to a combined total of 54 goals over the season for France and Paris Saint-Germain. He surpassed the previous record set by the legendary Just Fontaine during the 1957-1958 season. Fontaine, who famously scored 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup, holds the record for the most goals by an individual in a single World Cup tournament.
During the game, Mbappe almost provided when his cross from the left was headed wide by Randal Kolo Muani in the first half. This gave Greece the opportunity to settle into the match and work on their build-up play from the back.
France missed another chance before halftime when defender Jules Kounde volleyed straight at the goalkeeper from Kingsley Coman’s cross.
In the second half, forward Antoine Griezmann suffered a blow to the left side of his head from Konstantinos Mavropanos’ boot. Griezmann sustained a minor injury but showed resilience as he received thick strapping around his head.
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Mavropanos received a yellow card for the foul, and when Mbappe stepped up for the penalty kick, he appeared tense in his run-up. Greece goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos correctly guessed the direction, diving to his right to make a comfortable save.
However, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz ordered a retake due to a Greece player encroaching before the kick. Mbappe made no mistake on the second attempt, curling the ball into the right corner of the net and registering his 40th goal for France.
Mavropanos, the culprit for Griezmann’s foul, received a red card in the 70th minute for bringing down Kolo Muani. France had additional opportunities to extend their lead, including a breakaway by Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, but the former’s pass to set up his teammate was wasted.
Meanwhile, in the other group game, Ireland registered a 3-0 win over Gibraltar in Dublin.