PARIS (AP) – Kylian Mbappe added another fine solo goal to his collection and Olivier Giroud moved closer to France’s goalscoring record as the defending World Cup champions beat Austria 2-0 in the Nations League on Thursday. Defeated, while Canada’s two World Cup rivals. He appeared successful.
Mbappe dribbled past three defenders before slotting home his 28th international goal in the 56th minute, before Giroud celebrated by heading home Antoine Griezmann’s cross 10 minutes later to make it 49. Goals to go – two behind Thierry Henry’s national record.
France have already missed out on the Nations League title but Croatia, the Netherlands and Belgium — also playing their final games before the World Cup in Qatar — all won on Thursday to advance to next June’s Nations League. Stay in the race for the last four.
France’s win also saved it from relegation from the top tier of the Nations League, sending Austria into last place with a game to spare but just one point between them.
Croatia leapfrogged Denmark at the top of Group 1 after beating Denmark 2-1 with goals from left winger Borna Sosa in the 49th minute and Christian Eriksen’s equalizer in the 79th minute two minutes later.
The Group 1 winner and relegation will be decided on Sunday when France take on Denmark in Copenhagen and Austria host Croatia in Vienna.
The same goes for Group 4, although the Netherlands are the favorites as they have three points over Belgium and have the best goal difference. Belgium must win by three goals in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The Netherlands beat Poland 2-0 with a goal from Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands in the 13th minute and Steven Bergwijn curling in the 60th minute.
Belgium beat Wales 2-1 at home with first-half goals from midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and forward Michy Batshuayi. Striker Kiefer Moore pulled a goal back shortly after the break for Wales, who are in last place and three points behind Poland ahead of their meeting in Cardiff.
Croatia and Belgium are in Canada’s World Cup group.
Morocco, the other team in Canada’s group, faces Chile in a friendly on Friday, while the Canadians take on Qatar.
At the Stade de France, defender Benoît Badiachel made his France debut alongside Monaco team-mate Youssef Fofana, who lined up in central midfield alongside Real Madrid’s Orléans Chamonix – their former Monaco team-mate.
Mbappe’s first curler into the top right corner was ruled out for offside and then he had a chance after a good one-touch combination with Giroud. Chuamani hit the crossbar with a superb overhead kick late in the first half.
Mbappe missed a good chance to score the second goal when he was cleared and wide.
Earlier, Spain-based winger Ever Mabel scored his eighth goal in 29 games for Australia as the Socceroos beat New Zealand 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Thursday.
In the 32nd minute, Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine scored in the New Zealand half, beating Mabel past a defender and sending a long shot into the bottom corner of the net. Mabel plays for Spanish club Cadiz.
“Far from complacency, be honest,” Irwin said. “There are many things we can do better, but at the end of the day a win is a win.”
It was Australia’s last match before the World Cup in Qatar. The teams play again in Ireland on Sunday. New Zealand did not qualify for the World Cup.
Australia qualified for their fifth consecutive World Cup after defeating Peru in a penalty shootout in Qatar in the final round of qualifying in June. Football are in Group D and play against France, Tunisia and Denmark.