Kylian Mbappe's meteoric rise shows no sign of stopping as France forward seals holders' 2-1 win against Denmark to send them into last 16 of World Cup in Qatar.

Mbappe is France's World Cup top scorer with 3 goals, followed by Olivier Giroud with 2 goals.
Mbappe is France's World Cup top scorer with 3 goals, followed by Olivier Giroud with 2 goals. (AFP)

Kylian Mbappe has delivered on the biggest stage again with two goals, including a late winner, as holders France edged Denmark 2-1 to become the first team to reach the last 16 of the World Cup.

A potent French side knew a second victory in as many Group D outings would take them through to the knockout phase and they were well worth the lead that Mbappe gave them when he opened the scoring at Stadium 974 just after the hour mark on Saturday.

However, Andreas Christensen soon equalised for the Danes and Les Bleus needed Mbappe to produce the goods again in the 86th minute as he turned in Antoine Griezmann's cross to puncture the Danish resistance once and for all.

Having scored four during France's victorious 2018 campaign and one against Australia, Mbappe now has seven goals in nine World Cup appearances.

Didier Deschamps's side have the luxury of going into their final group game against Tunisia knowing even a defeat may not prevent them finishing first.

'Kylian is a an extraordinary player'

"I am very proud of what my players did tonight," said Deschamps, who was full of praise for Mbappe after seeing the Paris Saint-Germain superstar equal Zinedine Zidane's tally of 31 international goals.

"Kylian is a an extraordinary player. He has that ability to be decisive and make the difference even when opponents try to stop him."

Meanwhile Denmark are stuck on one point after two games but a win against Australia on Wednesday should suffice for them to advance, as long as Tunisia do not beat France and do so by a greater winning margin.

"Congratulations to France for the win. You can't argue too much with it," said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

"Right now we are very disappointed but we will get back on track and look forward."

France were reigning champions when a defeat to the Danes knocked them out of the 2002 World Cup, while the sides played out the only goalless draw in 2018.

More recently Hjulmand's side beat France twice in this year's Nations League, and it seemed that Deschamps had learned lessons from those encounters.

If France were a shadow of their usual selves in Copenhagen in September, they were much better in this match, played in a stadium made of shipping containers on Doha's waterfront.

Source: AFP