Mbappé helps France past Portugal
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Portugal 1-3 France
The teams traded early goals before two second-half strikes from Kylian Mbappé took the two-time champions into another final.
Article top media content
- France in line to win a third U19 EURO title after beating Portugal
- Pedro Pacheco heads in free-kick to give Portugal early lead (3)
- Ludovic Blas forces in Kylian Mbappé cross as France respond swiftly (10)
- Mbappé puts France in front from close range (67) and nods clinching third (75)
- France will play Italy in Sunday's final at 20.30CEST
France recovered from conceding an early goal to defeat Portugal and reach the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final for the fourth time thanks to a sparkling performance from Kylian Mbappé in Mannheim.
France had hit five goals in their last Group B game but were caught cold with just over two minutes on the clock, Gonçalo Rodrigues delivering a perfect free-kick from the right for for Pedro Pacheco to nod past Paul Bernardoni at the near post.
The lead proved short-lived, Mbappé wriggling away down the France left and crossing for Ludovic Blas to force in the equaliser. Two goals in the first ten minutes suggested an open encounter, but clear chances dried up before the break, a stretching Pedro Delgado volleying behind the best of them.
Defences continued to hold sway until the 67th minute when France right-back Clément Michelin advanced again to deliver another low cross and this time Mbappé was on hand to turn in at the far post. Champions in 2005 and 2010 and runners-up three years ago, France will have the chance to make it three titles on Sunday.
Key player: Kylian Mbappé (France)
The Monaco forward made it four goals in his last three games with a 67th-minute finish from close range and quickly headed another. He had already added his first assist of the finals and has now been involved in six of his side's 11 goals in Germany.
Room for individuals to shine
The match was marked by a number of fine dribbles, with Portugal's João Carvalho and France pair Amine Harit and Mbappé particularly prominent. They might not have led to goals – nor, in fact, any clear chances – but they certainly brought the crowd to their feet.
Michelin the man
France right-back Clément Michelin was a regular supporter of the side's attack, making the most of the space down the Portugal left. He delivered several promising crosses without reward before picking out Mbappé for the crucial second goal, and it was his long throw that was headed in by the same player to wrap up the win.