DOHA -(REUTERS) : Mbappe finally put France in front almost exactly at the hour mark after the champions sent in waves of attacks at the Danish defence but were unable to find a way through. However, Denmark found the equaliser just minutes later, with Andreas Christensen heading in a corner at the near post. Mbappe then scored his second late in the second half and France held on to become the first team to go through to the Round of 16 in this World Cup.
France is the first team to seal a spot in the round of 16. With that, they have also ended a European world champions’ curse that had started with them all the way back in 2002. France had won in 1998 and were knocked out in the group stage in the subsequent World Cup, 2006 World Cup winners Italy were then knocked out in the first stage in 2010, 2010 winners Spain were knocked out in the group stage in 2014 and 2014 winners Germany had been knocked out in the group stage in 2018. It took an Mbappe brace to end the curse. Denmark, meanwhile, need nothing less than a win in their next match against Australia to avoid being knocked out. (Hindustan Times)