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Mbappe shines as France send Argentina paking

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Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe announced himself on football’s biggest stage with two fine goals that gave France victory in a classic World Cup encounter with Argentina, and a place in the quarter-finals.

Though much of the focus before the game was on Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, it was Mbappe who produced a brilliant performance that will linger long in the memory.

Mbappe’s second-half double turned the game decisively in France’s favour, and inflicted more pain on Argentina in what may be their final chance to win the World Cup during Messi’s prime.

In doing so, the 19-year-old became the first teenager to score two in a World Cup match since Pele netted twice for Brazil against Sweden in the 1958 final.

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Antoine Griezmann had already hit the bar with a free-kick by the time he put France ahead from the penalty spot in the ninth minute, following a searing Mbappe run that was ended by a clumsy Marcos Rojo foul.

Argentina looked unable to reply for much of the first half, until Angel di Maria hauled his side level with a stunning long-range curler shortly before the break.

Thousands of raucous South American supporters were sent into raptures when Gabriel Mercado diverted a Messi shot past Hugo Lloris to give Jorge Sampaoli’s side the lead.

But Benjamin Pavard’s stunning strike levelled the scores, and 11 minutes later Mbappe had scored twice – two clinical finishes that ensured the 2014 beaten finalists would be going home at the last 16.

For the first he swept body and ball into space before driving past Franco Armani to score, while the second was swept in crisply at the end of a counter-attack as Argentina chased another leveller.

Substitute Sergio Aguero did get a late consolation – a low header from a pin-point Messi cross in the 93rd minute.

But this defeat will raise many questions, including about Messi’s international future, and that of manager Sampaoli.

France, meanwhile, will go on to play Uruguay or Portugal, who play the second match of the day.

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Motherland News

Protest leader arrested, charged with inciting violence in Zimbabwe.

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Armed police in Zimbabwe have arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

It comes as protests against fuel price hikes enters day 3 Wednesday. Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor, rose to prominence as a critic of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Beatrice Mtetwa is lawyer for Evan Mawarire.



Businesses and schools remain closed while mobile telecom networks enforce a government internet shut down in this Southern African nation.

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“I cannot say the stay away has been successful but at the end of the day we await to hear what the government will do because the people have spoken, they were not happy and up to now they are still in fear”, said Harare resident, Ronald Gwasira.

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“The way it looks people want to go to work but unfortunately it seems the transport operators are not willing to take them”, said Terrence Gumbi, another resident.

Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices.

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Motherland News

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyata promises avenge terror attack in Nirobi.

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Kenyan security forces have neutralised all four terrorists involved in the attack on a hotel complex in the capital Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday.

Kenyatta said about 700 people had been safely evacuated, vowed to avenge the 14 “innocent” lives lost.



“We are a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children. We will pursue relentlessly those involved in the planning and execution of this attack,” the president said.

‘‘I take note of Kenyans who took to social media to spread hope and criticise false information. You have shown the world bravery, patriotism and love.’‘

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he attack in numbers

  • 14 civilians confirmed dead

  • 700 people safely evacuated

  • 4 attackers neutralised

Victims

An earlier estimate put the death toll at 15.

Timeline of the attack

  • Tuesday 3pm (local time): Attack on dusitD2 hotel begins with two explosions

  • Tuesday 5:55pm: Al Shabaab claims responsibility

  • Tuesday night: AU, EU, UN, United States, Somalia condemn the attack

  • Tuesday night : Police announces it has secured 7 out of eight floors

  • Wednesday 6am: Gunshots ring out as police say at least two groups of people still trapped inside complex

  • Wednesday 8am: President Kenyatta declares terror attack and security operation ‘over’.

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