Mbappe shines, France cruises to victory against South Africa


Lille, France, March 29, 2022 (AFP) - France eased to a 5-0 win against South Africa on Tuesday as the World Cup holders showed pretenders to their crown that their preparations for the finals are on track.

As some of their European rivals were battling through playoffs to qualify for the finals in Qatar at the end of the year, Didier Deschamps' side cruised through the gears in Lille.

Kylian Mbappe scored the outstanding goal of the game when the Paris Saint-Germain forward curled in a shot from outside the area to open the scoring after 23 minutes.

Mbappe got his second of the night with a 76th minute penalty after Olivier Giroud netted the 48th goal of his international career to close in on Thierry Henry's record of 51, holding off three South African defenders to drill home a low shot from inside the box.

Wissam bin Yedder made it 4-0 after 81 minutes before Matteo Guendouzi rounded off the night with a curled finish in injury-time.

South Africa's task was made more difficult when Khuliso Mudau was sent off late in the match.

France coach Didier Deschamps hailed a "complete match" from his players.

His South African counterpart Hugo Broos said it had been a valuable exercise for his inexperienced side.

"We knew before the game there was a difference of level between the two teams," Broos said.

"For us, the result was not important, it's a good experience for our young team.

"This is not a shame for us. We were a team till the end. There is more quality than six months ago."

He called Mbappe "a very good player", adding: "Even way better defenders can't do anything against him."

Mbappe shines, France cruises to victory against South Africa
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