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Mbappé scores two as France beats Netherlands to qualify for European Championship

Kylian Mbappe France Kylian Mbappe - The Canadian Press

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Kylian Mbappé helped France seal qualification for next year's European Championship by scoring twice in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Friday for a perfect sixth win in Group B.

There had been talk before Friday's match at the Johan Cruyff Arena of the 24-year-old France captain being out of form after failing to score in four matches for Paris Saint-Germain, but international duty quickly put an end to the goal drought.

Mbappé opened the scoring in just the seventh minute when he beat Lutsharel Geertruida to a cross from the right by Jonathan Clauss to volley past Brighton goalkeeper Bert Verbruggen, who was making his debut for the Netherlands.

It was Mbappé's 41st international goal, drawing him level with France great Michel Platini. France’s all-time top scorer, Olivier Giroud, came off the bench in the second half but could not add to his 54 goals.

Mbappé doubled the lead in the 53rd minute when he exchanged passes with Adrien Rabiot on the edge of the Netherlands' penalty area before curling a shot over Verbruggen.

Feyenoord midfielder Quilindschy Hartman, capped a strong first full international appearance with a goal when he made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go by beating Mike Maignan at the France goalkeeper's near post. It was the first goal World Cup runner-up France had conceded in the qualifying group.

The Netherlands’ second defeat to France in qualifying left it in third place behind Greece, which beat Ireland 2-0 Friday to move up to second. The Netherlands plays Greece on Monday in a match that could decide the second team to progress to next year’s tournament in Germany.

Substitute Donyell Malen thought he had cut the lead shortly after Mbappé’s second, but his effort was ruled out because Nathan Aké was offside in the buildup.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman gave debuts to Verbruggen and Hartman in his injury-hit starting lineup that was without Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong and striker Memphis Depay.

Bayer Leverkusen wing back Jeremie Frimpong became the third new international on the night for Oranje when he came on for Denzel Dumfries in the 62nd minute and Tottenham defender Micky van de Ven became the fourth debutant in the 80th minute when he replaced Aké.


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