Kylian Mbappé capped off France’s undefeated qualifying campaign with a ruthless goal in their victory over Finland this evening. However, The Helsinki Olympic Stadium didn’t exactly witness a dominant French performance.
Off the back of the away side’s eight nil thrashing of Kazakhstan last Saturday, most fans expected a first half performance full of chances. Whereas, the only real action from the first period came from Finland.
Hugo Lloris was forced into making a save in the 30th minute when Teemu Pukki was given the chance to turn and shoot in France’s box. With the home-side surprisingly managing to assert some dominance, a corner just before half-time was sent into the danger area but a poorly marked Rasmus Schüller couldn’t make contact.
Following a underwhelming start to the second half, in-form Karim Benzema played a one-two with Mbappe in the box and scored from a deflection with 25 minutes to go. The current world champions finally had their lead.
As Lucas Digne received the ball from Adrien Rabbit in the 76th minute, 10 yards from his own box, few would have anticipated the ball to be in Finland’s net eight seconds later. As the Everton full-back lofted a pass over to Mbappe on the half-way line, the Finns defence made their presence known. However, the blistering pace of the PSG star allowed him to burst down the left-wing, cut inside the opposition’s penalty area and finesse the ball into the bottom-right corner. A moment of sheer class.