Mbappe’s winner takes France to Nations League title
World champions come from behind to beat Spain 2-1 with Mbappe netting late on.
France's coach Didier Deschamps said his team has put their poor showing at Euro 2020 behind them with this title win [Franck Fife/AFP]
11 Oct 2021
Kylian Mbappe scored the late winner as world champions France came from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and win the Nations League title.
Mbappe netted with 10 minutes remaining as France was again forced to fight back on Sunday, just as it had done in the semifinals against Belgium.
There were few chances in a cagey final in Milan but the match burst into life shortly after the hour mark.
Moments after France hit the woodwork, Mikel Oyarzabal fired Spain in front but its lead lasted less than two minutes before a magnificent finish from Karim Benzema.
There was a video review for a possible offside on Mbappe for the second goal but it was given as Spain defender Eric Garcia was the last to touch the ball as he attempted to intercept the pass to the France forward.
“This is the first piece of silverware I’ve won with France so I’m very proud and delighted,” said Benzema, who only recently returned to the France squad after a five-year absence.
“We played two top-level performances. We went out there to win the trophy so I’m delighted for the team as a whole and I’m proud as an individual.”
Mbappe has now scored in successive matches, after two goals in his previous 13 internationals.
Kylian Mbappe (L) and Karim Benzema (R) both scored for France [Franck Fife/AFP]
Earlier on Sunday, European champions Italy beat Belgium 2-1 in the third-place playoff.
Nicolo Barella’s thunderous strike and a penalty converted by Domenico Berardi earned Italy some consolation after their semi-final loss to Spain in Milan on Wednesday ended their record 37-match unbeaten run.
Belgium claimed a consolation in the 86th minute when substitute Charles De Ketelaere finished off a quick counterattack.