'We're going to win it' - Mbappe nets four as France book World Cup place with 8-0 rout

Striker leads charge against Kazakhstan as holders reach Qatar 2022 finals

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Striker Kylian Mbappe scored four times as defending champions France qualified for next year's World Cup by crushing Kazakhstan 8-0.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema also netted twice at the Parc des Princes in a fine attacking display as Les Bleus won their group with a game to spare.

"A World Cup is a dream, an aim, it's everything and it's a unique chance to play in a team that can win it. We're going over there to win it," Mbappe said.

"We wanted to give ourselves a chance to defend our title. Even for those who have played in it and won it, it's an ultimate dream to play in a World Cup. The fans enjoyed it, so did we."

France coach Didier Deschamps added: “Everyone had their slice of their cake, there was a real understanding between the players. It’s a beautiful night of soccer.”

France were missing the injured Paul Pogba so Adrien Rabiot started in midfield at Parc des Princes, where he used to play for Paris Saint-Germain with Mbappe.

It was the perfect location for Rabiot's first international goal as he headed home powerfully from Antoine Griezmann's pinpoint corner in the 75th minute. Griezmann's late penalty gave him 42 goals for France, and one more than midfield great Michel Platini.

Mbappe was about to be taken off when substitute Moussa Diaby cleverly played him in for a low finish in the 87th and a 23rd international goal. Moments later Deschamps joined in the applause as Mbappe came off.

He had already thrilled the 45,000 home fans with a first international hat trick — including a rare header — inside 32 minutes. Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman was in great form down the right and set two of those goals up.

“We showed great ideas, movement and we took our chances well," Deschamps said. “Kingsley has the ability to dribble and cross. He was a bonus for us on the right side.

"The aim was to qualify, but we did it in style too and you could see the enjoyment the players got from playing together and how they shared things, notably the forwards."

Deschamps will be delighted to see how quickly the partnership between the 33-year-old Benzema and the 22-year-old Mbappe is developing.

"We showed we have a good understanding and combine well together," said Benzema, who has eight goals in 12 matches since being recalled by Deschamps in time for this summer's European Championship.

Updated: November 14th 2021, 3:11 AM
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