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, in his first full international appearance, made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go when he beat 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.