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Mbappe strikes twice as France clobber South Africa 5-0

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France extended their winning run to seven matches as two-goal Kylian Mbappe and record-chasing Olivier Giroud struck in a 5-0 victory against South Africa in a friendly on Tuesday.

The world champions, who have not lost since they were knocked out of the European Championship in the last 16 by Switzerland on penalties last year, were never troubled by a team they had not faced since the 2010 World Cup.

That year France exited the finals after an infamous off-field meltdown in which the players went on strike but Didier Deschamps’s side were very businesslike on Tuesday with Wissam Ben Yedder and Matteo Guendouzi adding late goals.

South Africa finished with 10 men after Khuliso Mudau was shown a straight red card for a fierce challenge on Lucas Digne with six minutes left at Lille’s Pierre Mauroy stadium.

“It was a good performance and we could have scored more,” said Deschamps, who handed first starts to Olympique de Marseille defender William Saliba and RC Lens wing back Jonathan Clauss.

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“It was important to give some players some experience, especially with the Nations League coming up in June.”

Mbappe, who missed their 2-1 victory against Ivory Coast with an ENT infection, was back in the starting lineup alongside Giroud while midfielder Ngolo Kante was also making his return after skipping last Friday’s game for personal reasons.

France got off to a lively start, with Giroud’s header being tipped over the bar by Ronwen Williams after five minutes.

Mbappe put Les Bleus ahead in the 23rd minute when he curled a fine shot into the top corner from the edge of the box after being set up by Antoine Griezmann.

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Giroud doubled the tally 10 minutes later with a low cross-shot from inside the area following a nice combination between Mbappe and Griezmann.

It was Giroud’s 48th goal for France on his 112th appearance, which left him three shy of Thierry Henry’s all-time France scoring record as the AC Milan striker made the most of the absence of the injured Karim Benzema.

Mbappe will hope to eventually be hot on Giroud’s heels after netting his 26th goal in 54 internationals with a penalty in the 76th minute after being brought down by Siyanda Xulu.

“(The goal scoring record) is a goal. I’ve always wanted to be the first. In the national and with my club,” said Mbappe.

“What Titi (Henry) did, nobody did it but it can happen and sooner than one would think.”

Ben Yedder added a fourth from point-blank range and Guendouzi rubbed salt in the visitors’ wounds with a superb curled effort in added time. Channelnewsasia

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