Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France dumped Lionel Messi and Argentina out of the World Cup with a 4-3 win in an outstanding round-of-16 tie in Kazan.
Argentina had come from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 in a match illuminated by outstanding goals from Angel Di Maria and Benjamin Pavard, but a quickfire second-half double from Mbappe put France firmly in the driving seat before Argentina struck again in added time.
Seven minutes in came the first indication of the havoc Mbappe was to wreak when he turned and ran at the heart of the Argentina defence, Javier Mascherano bringing him down 25 yards out.
Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba stood over the ball and, when the former unleashed a strike, the ball crashed off the bar with Franco Armani beaten before Argentina scrambled it away.
After 11 minutes, Mbappe’s brilliance engineered the breakthrough for France as he embarking on a scorching run from deep inside his own half all the way into the Argentina box, where he was brought down by Marcos Rojo.
After a VAR check had been carried out to confirm the decision, Rojo was booked and Griezmann sent Armani the wrong way to give Didier Dechamps’ side the lead after 13 minutes.
But out of nothing, Argentina were level thanks to a moment of brilliance from Di Maria who, 30 yards out and central, sent a sublime left-footed strike past Hugo Lloris and into the top corner with 41 minutes gone.
Federico Fazio replaced Rojo as Argentina made a change, and within moments of the restart the revitalised Di Maria won the dangerous free kick on the left from which his side turned the game around.
The ball was floated in and half-cleared to Messi, who turned and hit a low shot that deflected off Gabriel Mercado’s foot and bounced beyond Lloris.
But Deschamps’ side had to wait only moment longer before the second brilliant goal of the game brought them level, Pavard thundering home a wonderful angled half-volley from the edge of the box after 57 minutes.
Seven minutes later, France were ahead as a pulsating game took yet another twist and Mbappe got the goal he richly deserved, Pogba’s blocked shot falling to him inside the area and his low shot, after he had made space brilliantly, going in off Armani.
Argentina responded by bringing on Sergio Aguero for Enzo Perez, but they were in desperate trouble after 68 minutes as France opened up a two-goal lead and Mbappe got his second, latching on to Giroud’s beautiful touch and burying the finish.
With minutes left, the brilliant Mbappe was substituted to a huge ovation, Florian Thauvin coming on — but they were made to sweat at the end when, with two of four added minutes player, Aguero nodded home Messi’s pass to give his side a glimmer of hope.