Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Mbappe dazzles against Dutch

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
France’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the UEFA Nations League match against The Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, France, yesterday.

PARIS (AP):

Any lingering doubts that Kylian Mbappe is French football's most valuable jewel were erased yesterday as the teenage striker celebrated the world champions' return home with a superb display - and a goal - in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League.

Back to their home ground at the Stade de France for the first time since winning the World Cup in July, France were treated to an ecstatic welcome by nearly 80,000 fans, and 19-year-old Mbappe was the hero of the night.

Mbappe, who grew up in the Paris suburbs, exposed Dutch defenders from the start with his fast pace and control. He almost put France ahead in the first minute, broke the deadlock in the 14th, and created havoc near and inside the Dutch box throughout the game with the trademark dribbles that helped him become one of the stars of the World Cup in Russia.

Ryan Babel scored a second-half equaliser as France struggled physically in the closing stages, but Olivier Giroud gave France a deserved win with 15 minutes left.