Final score: France 4-3 Argentina
Lionel Messi bailed out a poor Argentina team against Nigeria, but there wasn’t much he could do to rescue his overmatched midfield and defense against a higher quality opponent. France was just too good. This also felt like a bit of a passing of the torch moment — 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe scored two goals and drew a penalty, looking like he’s worth every bit of the €180 million that Paris Saint-Germain is about to pay for him.
GOAL Sergio Aguero! France 4-3 Argentina
It’s not quite over yet! Just before stoppage time, the substitute striker Aguero has his team back in the game. Messi delivered a gorgeous ball in the box, and Aguero beat all of the French defenders to get his head on it and score.
Sergio Aguero pulls one back for Argentina!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 30, 2018
Enough time for an equalizer? pic.twitter.com/2uadLZjk6d
GOAL Kylan Mbappe! France 4-2 Argentina
He’s done it again! France absolutely carved up Argentina with a precision counter-attack, and Mbappe was there to finish it off. Lloris -> Kante -> Griezmann -> Matuidi -> Giroud -> Mbappe, covering the entire length of the pitch in 10 seconds of passes on the ground. Gorgeous.
#MundialTelemundo @KMbappe está encendido y marca su doblete ante @Argentina #FRA 4-2 #ARG pic.twitter.com/hzSQBOYzWn— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
GOAL Kylian Mbappe! France 3-2 Argentina
What an absolutely outrageous game this is. Less than 10 minutes after Pavard’s stunner, France is in the lead. A cross by Theo Hernandez set up the chance, and Mbappe did brilliantly to find the ball, make a move to find a bit of space, and finish.
#MundialTelemundo @KMbappe con colaboración de Armani le da la vuelta al marcador #FRA 3-2 #ARG pic.twitter.com/kL7P0xwlSx— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
GOAL Benjamin Pavard! France 2-2 Argentina
Benjamin Pavard? BENJAMIN PAVARD! The regularly maligned France right back, the least world-famous player in this squad, has just scored one of the best goals of the tournament. Look at the spin on this shot, Pavard’s first career international goal. Unreal.
#MundialTelemundo @BenPavard28 le pegó como venía y con un golazo empata el marcador #FRA 2-2 #ARG pic.twitter.com/Dn9cPvDX2p— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
GOAL Gabriel Mercado! Argentina 2-1 France
Lionel Messi and Gabriel Mercado have helped Argentina into the lead by cleaning up a set piece. The initial delivery deflected back to Messi, who was able to turn around Blaise Matuidi and get a shot off. Hugo Lloris was in position to make the save, but Mercado redirected the ball, and it dribbled past the helpless French goalkeeper.
#MundialTelemundo ¡Con fortuna! @GabyMercado25 desvió un disparo de #Messi y #ARG ya tiene la ventaja 2-1 sobre #FRA pic.twitter.com/skgfdh28xP— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
Halftime score: France 1-1 Argentina
The first half was all France, who looked to be well on their way to a simple win, until Angel Di Maria popped up with a wondergoal from 30 yards. Now, instead of setting his team up to shut up shop and keep the ball in the second half, France manager Didier Deschamps will be thinking about attacking subs.
Argentina, meanwhile, can’t just be happy with the great goal. They’ve struggled with Messi as a lone forward, and need to think about introducing one of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain or Paulo Dybala.
GOAL Angel Di Maria! France 1-1 Argentina
What a hit! Angel Di Maria’s had a rough half, but France inexplicably failed to close him down, and the Argentina midfielder had as much time as he wanted to set up his shot. You can’t place it any better than this.
#MundialTelemundo Di María con un golazo empata el marcador y así lo narró @AndresCantorGOL #FRA 1-1 #ARG pic.twitter.com/cidC1l7tzI— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
PENALTY! Marcos Rojo hauls down Kylian Mbappe. Antoine Griezmann... SCORES! France 1-0 Argentina
If Kylian Mbappe ever goes on to win a Ballon d’Or, we might look back on this moment as the one where the world learned how good he was about to be. The run that he went on to set up this penalty was absurd. 60 yards, full sprint, past three defenders, and drawing the penalty.
#MundialTelemundo @KMbappe es derribado dentro del área por Marcos Rojo ¿Te parece justa la marcación? pic.twitter.com/fKATlwvyDM— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
Griezmann hits the crossbar!
What a free kick this was.
#MundialTelemundo ¡Se salvó #ARG! @AntoGriezmann revienta el travesaño pic.twitter.com/Dx46N6NtmE— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 30, 2018
Much to just about everyone’s displeasure, France has put out its ultra-defensive lineup again. Defensive midfielder Blaise Matuidi plays on the left for reasons that are nearly impossible to discern. Argentina has made a big change too, opting to play none of its true strikers. Lionel Messi will play up top in a 4-3-3.
France vs. Argentina lineups
#FRAARG // FORMATIONS— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 30, 2018
Thoughts on these teams? pic.twitter.com/zrwPqShAj0
France and Argentina kick off the knockout stage as the first game on Saturday. The game is set for 10 a.m. ET at the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, and you can watch it on FOX and Telemundo. Online streaming is also available in English through FOX Sports Go here or in Spanish through Telemundo here.
The winner of this match will be the first team placed into the quarterfinal round, with their opponent unknown until the winner of Uruguay and Portugal is decided later on Saturday.
France vs. Argentina Time, TV channel, and streaming info
Time: 10 a.m. ET
Location: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
TV: FOX (English), Telemundo (Spanish)
Streaming: Watch the game on Fox Sports Go (English) and Telemundo Deportes en vivo (Spanish) for free if you sign in with your TV provider. It’s also on subscription services like Fubo and Hulu.
Odds: France -0.25 (Full odds at OddsShark)
For listings from more countries, check out Live Soccer TV.
France vs. Argentina news to read before kickoff
Argentina players reportedly ignoring manager Jorge Sampaoli, making decisions for themselves
We should have known that it would be Argentina. We didn’t, though. After Spain fired their manager Julen Lopetegui just one day before the World Cup began, it was easy to believe that Spain would be the team to mutiny, revolt or generally descend into chaos in this tournament.
Argentina are still broken, but Lionel Messi and Marcos Rojo bought them time
After Argentina beat Nigeria, 2-1, yesterday to advance to the knockout round of the 2018 World Cup, my colleague Kim McCauley brought up a recurring scene in the Bourne film franchise. In just about every film, there’s a part where Jason Bourne gets injured, usually shot, and he has to break into a hospital or pharmacy and perform some emergency surgery on himself. An injection of lidocaine. Tweezers easing a bullet out of his thigh. The mend is always just enough to keep Bourne moving. It’s not a permanent fix. He’s not healed by any stretch of the imagination — the dude is still shot. But he is alive. That’s Argentina right now.