Argentina and Portugal both had their 2018 FIFA World Cup hopes dashed on Saturday night, and since it might be the last World Cup to feature respective national heroes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the knockouts were doubly disappointing to their fans.
According to Sport24, the France v Argentina match at the Kazan Arena was meant to herald a Messi-led comeback for a team that has struggled at this year's tournament, but it was not to be. French teenager Kylian Mbappé was the hero of the night, both to his PSG fans and France as a nation.
It was a challenge on Mbappé by Marcos Rojo that led to France taking an early lead, via a penalty put away by Antoine Griezmann. Angel di Maria equalised for Argentina before halftime, and shortly after the restart the South Americans drew 2-1 ahead off Messi's most impressive shot of the game, assisted into the net by Gabriel Mercado.
In the 57th minute, French defender Benjamin Pavard levelled the scores with an amazing half-volley, and two more brilliant goals from Mbappé in the 64th and 68th minute sealed the Argentines' fate. The final score, thanks to Argentina's late consolation goal by Sergio Aguero in stoppage time, was 4-3.
Mbappé's PSG teammate Edinson Cavani brought an equal amount of joy to Uruguay fans in Saturday's other World Cup match at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, reported Marca.com. His goal from a header in the seventh minute, and another from a long, curving shot in the 62nd, bracketed Portugal's only score of the night; also off a header, by Pepe. The final score was 2-1 to Uruguay.
Ronaldo, sadly, could not repeat his Fisht hat-trick against Spain, so he'll be watching the rest of the tournament on TV. Uruguay and France will now meet in the quarter-finals, on Friday, July 06.