Mbappe leads France out of hell with a number of absentees

Kylian Mbappe added another fine solo goal to his collection and Olivier Giroud moved closer to France’s scoring record as the defending World Cup champions beat Austria 2-0 in the Nations League on Thursday.

Mbappe skipped past three defenders before drilling in his 28th international goal in the 56th minute, before Giroud celebrated his recall by heading powerfully in from Antoine Griezmann’s cross 10 minutes later to move onto 49 goals – two behind Thierry Henry’s national record.

France already lost its Nations League title but Croatia, the Netherlands and Belgium – also playing their penultimate matches before the World Cup in Qatar – all won on Thursday to stay in contention for the Nations League’s Final Four next June.

France’s victory also saved it from relegation from the top tier of the Nations League, sending Austria into last place with one game left but with only one point between them.

At Stade de France, defender Benoit Badiashile made his France debut alongside Monaco teammate Youssouf Fofana, who lined up in central midfield alongside Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni – their former Monaco teammate.

Mbappe’s early curler into top right corner was disallowed for offside and he then fluffed a chance after a slick one-touch combination with Giroud. Tchouameni hit the crossbar with a superb overhead kick late in the first half.

Mbappe missed a great chance to score a second goal when he went clean through and shot wide.