World Cup highlights in pictures (Day 3): Mbappe sets French record, Messi misses penalty

Ahram Online recounts the highlights of World Cup action on Saturday

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Jun 2018,
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Messi, Griezmann and Mbappe
Messi, Griezmann and Mbappe

 

Mbappe youngest French player

Forward Kylian Mbappe became the youngest France player to appear at a major tournament after starting against Australia in the Group C clash. Aged 19 years and 178 days, the Paris Saint-Germain man beat the record held by Bruno Bellone, who was 20 years and 118 days when he played at the 1982 World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe
France's Kylian Mbappe, right wrong foots Australia's Mile Jedinak as he runs towards goal during the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

 

Penalties by VAR

France striker Antoine Griezmann earned the first ever penalty awarded by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at a World Cup after he was brought down by a sliding challenge from Australia defender Josh Risdon in the early Group C clash. Griezmann thumped the ball into the right corner and France went on to win 2-1. In the other group gamer later in the day, Peru were also awarded a penalty against Denmark after the referee consulted the VAR but it was missed by Christian Cueva.

Antoine Griezmann
France's Antoine Griezmann scores their first goal from the penalty spot (Photo: REUTERS)

 

Messi's penalty curse

Lionel Messi was a disappointment for Argentina, failing to convert a 64th-minute penalty which would have given his side a 2-1 lead over Iceland. His tame spot kick was saved by the keeper as Messi continued his penalty curse, having missed four from seven spot kicks the past season.

Messi
Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts (Photo: REUTERS)

 

Acrobatic Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel was in an inspired form for Denmark as they edged past Peru 1-0 in their Group C opener. The son of former Denmark keeper Peter Schmeichel, Kasper pulled off some superb saves to smother waves of attacks from Peru and play a key role in giving his side a precious win. "He is acrobatic, he's fast on his feet and his goal-line play is probably one of the best in the world, that is his strength," Denmark coach Age Hareide said of Schmeichel. 

Kasper Schmeichel
Denmark's Kasper Schmeichel scrambles as Peru have a chance to score (Photo: REUTERS)

 

Mo in full training

Egypt's star Mohamed Salah took part in full training to give an encouraging sign of his availability for the team's crucial clash against hosts Russia in their second Group A clash on Tuesday. The Liverpool winger missed the opening 1-0 defeat by Uruguay on Friday, with Egypt looking largely toothless without him upfront.

Mohamed Salah
Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah (C) attends a training session with teammates (Photo: AFP)

 

Nigeria's blunders

Nigeria made some naive errors at the back to open their campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Croatia, who could have even won by a bigger margin. They gifted Croatia an opener in the 32rd-minute via an own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty on 71 minutes when William Troost-Ekong clumsily fouled Mario Mandzukic in the area, with Luka Modric calmly converting the spot-kick. 

Nigeria and Croatia
Croatia's Andrej Kramaric in action with Nigeria's William Troost-Ekong (Photo: REUTERS)

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 

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