Mbappe debut in France’s World Cup qualifiers win, Ronaldo’s brace push Portugal
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DUSHANBE, 27.03.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. The 18-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe made his international debut for France in a 3-1 road victory over Luxembourg, while Cristiano Ronaldo had a brace to earn Portugal a 3-0 home win against Hungary in Saturday's 2018 World Cup European qualifiers.
Mbappe came from the bench for Dimitri Payet in the 78th minute, one minute after Olivier Giroud scored his second goal of the match with a header from Benjamin Mendy's cross. The Arsenal striker opened the deadlock with a low shot for Les Bleus before the half-hour mark.
The hosts tied the game on 34 minutes thanks to Aurelien Joachim's penalty, before Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann pushed France up again in the same style.
France led Group A with four wins and one draw from five games, owning a three-point margin over Sweden, who crushed over Belarus 4-0.
The Netherlands were shocked by Bulgaria 2-0, and were subject to the fourth position. Bulgaria moved up to third on nine points.
In Group B, skipper Ronaldo found the net in the 36th and 65th minute. The Portuguese superstar have tallied 70 goals so far in international competitions. Andre Silva opened the host's scoring account in the 32nd minute.
Portugal were three points adrift leaders Switzerland, who tasted five wins from five matches after edging past Latvia 1-0.
With a goalless draw against Faroe Islands, Andorra snapped their 58-game losing streak in competitive matches, also clinching their first point in the qualifiers.
Group H leaders Belgium took on striker Lukaku's goal in the 89th minute to finish a 1-1 draw with nine-men Greece, who still trailed by two points on second place.
In other two matches, Bosnia-Herzegovina thrashed minnows Gibraltar 5-0, and Cyprus drew 0-0 with Estonia.
Nine group winners in European qualifies will go directly to Russia in 2018, while the last four spots will be decided on the playoffs among eight best second-place finishers.
Source: National information agency of Tajikistan