France sealed its place in next year’s World Cup after an 8-0 attack on Kazakhstan in Paris.
A hat trick in the first half from Kylian Mbappe helped move Didier Deschamp’s men four points at the top of Group D with one match left to ensure they will defend their title in Qatar.
Mbappe gave the hosts the lead after just six minutes. Karim Benzema moved into the left channel to free Theo Hernandez, and the Milan defender cut the ball over the goal for Mbappe to hit home at the nearest post.
And the PSG striker scored the second shortly after a quick counterattack, with Kingsley Coman rounding goalkeeper Stas Pokatilov and placing on a square for Mbappe to hit an empty net.
Kazakhstan almost got back into the game when Dayot Upamecano took possession of the ball, but Erkin Tapalov’s looping effort was easily stopped by Hugo Lloris.
Mbappe took his hat trick just after half an hour when he nodded into Pokatilov’s far corner and secured his first treble for Les Bleus.
France got a nap again almost immediately from kick-off when Oralkhan Omirtayev won a free kick, but Lloris stood tall and denied him.
Benzema came into the action shortly after the break when he poked home Hernandez’s low cross, and after a lengthy VAR check for offside, the goal stood.
The Real Madrid striker secured his support just a few minutes later when Mbappe selflessly left it to him to take his first assist of the evening.
France had almost a six when Mbappe’s dangerous post was nodded by Maksat Taykenov against his own net, completely surpassing Pokatilov and hitting the inside of the post.
Target line technology considered that the ball had not crossed the line, while a VAR check cleared Kazakhstan’s defenders from handling it.
Substitute Moussa Diaby had the ball in the net almost immediately after replacing Benzema, but Mbappe was considered offside in the build-up.
Adrien Rabiot scored his first goal for France after heading in from Antoine Griezmann’s corner, before Mbappe almost took his fourth and Jules Konde was denied a first international.
France were awarded a penalty when Vladislav Vasilyev foolishly tripped Griezmann with an obviously late challenge, and the Atletico Madrid forward scored from the spot.
Diaby and Mbappe continued to give Kazakhstan’s defenders nightmares and combined again to add France’s eighth place, where the latter took its fourth in the match.
France almost found the strength to maintain its lead of eight goals in stoppage time to cause Kazakhstan’s heaviest defeat ever as an independent nation.
Lloris was the captain of France / FRANCK FIFE / GettyImages
Hugo Lloris (GK) – 7/10 – A little more busy than he probably expected to be, but handled Kazakhstan’s threats well and his quick release was crucial for France’s second.
Jules Konde (CB) – 7/10 – Be comfortable mixing over to fill in right at the back if needed and don’t worry too much.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) – 4/10 – Looked out of his depth in a game that his team won emphatically against opponents who were much weaker than themselves. Impressive.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – 7/10 – Was essentially the left-wing version of Konde and put in an almost identical performance.
Coman was sensational / FRANCK FIFE / GettyImages
Kingsley Coman (RM) – 10/10 – Equal performance a player can have without scoring a goal. Tortured Kazakhstan all night long and looked like prime minister Ronaldinho at times.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 6/10 – Some loose grips but gave plenty of energy and swept up effectively.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – 7/10 – Congratulations to Adrien Rabiot for getting a point that was not “N / A” in our player ratings. A rare sight.
Theo Hernandez (LM) – 9/10 – A real threat to the left. His performance would have looked more impressive if Coman had not decided to go berserk on the other flank.
Antoine Griezmann (AM) – 8/10 – Liked to play in the free role, but again the broad players’ enormous work meant that he did not get as much attention in central areas.
Benzema and Mbappe were back to their best / FRANCK FIFE / GettyImages
Kylian Mbappe (CF) – 10/10 – Wow. Mbappe may have started the club season slowly but god what he did at the Parc des Princes for his country.
Karim Benzema (CF) – 9/10 – Played quite a lot on first gear and was still excellent.
Aurelien Tchouameni (CM) – 7/10 – A calming influence in midfield after Kante’s change.
Moussa Diaby (CF) – 8/10 – Unfortunate not to have taken a goal immediately after his arrival. Played with real intensity and was worth his assist.
Benjamin Pavard (RM) – N / A
Clement Lenglet (CB) – N / A
Wissam Ben Yedder (CF) – N / A
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