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France thrash 10-man Dutch with Lemar double, Mbappe strike

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France thrash 10-man Dutch with Lemar double, Mbappe strike

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PARIS (Reuters) – Thomas Lemar got his first two goals for France while substitute Kylian Mbappe also scored in a 4-0 demolition of 10-man Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday that left the Dutch with a huge task to reach the 2018 finals in Russia. Antoine Griezmann had put the home side in front after 14 minutes, beating goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with a left-foot shot from inside the area after a quick one-two with fellow striker Oliver Giroud. Midfielder Lemar, arguably the best player on the pitch, doubled the advantage by firing a superb half-volley into the top corner of the net from 20 metres after 73 minutes before adding a third from close range in the 88th. New Paris St Germain signing Kylian Mbappe, who joined the capital club earlier on Thursday, wrapped up the victory in added time after the teenager came on as a late substitute. The Dutch, who hardly created a chance, played the last 30 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Kevin Strootman was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession. France now top Group A on 16 points from seven matches, three points ahead of Sweden, who lost 3-2 in Bulgaria. The Dutch are six points off the top in fourth place, two points behind third-placed Bulgaria. The winners of the nine groups qualify directly for Russia while the best eight of the second-placed teams take part in two-leg playoffs for four more places.

(Reporting by Patrick Vignal, Editing by Ken Ferris)
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