Dubai: Kylian Mbappe outshone Lionel Messi and Argentina as France booked their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Kazan on Saturday night.
Argentina supporters travelled in large numbers but they were left heart-broken as France emerged 4-3 winners in their last-16 match.
France coach Didier Deschamps reverted to his most efficient line-up, making six changes to his team.
Deschamps picked the same players who beat Peru 1-0 in their second group match in a 4-3-3 system, with Olivier Giroud up front supported by a three-man line of Blaise Matuidi, Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli made one change — forward Cristian Pavon starting in place of Gonzalo Higuain — from the 2-1 win over Nigeria that secured a spot in the knockout stage for the two-time champions.
Goalkeeper Franco Armani made his is second appearance for Argentina while Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was on the bench.
Antoine Griezmann gave France the lead after scoring from the penalty spot in the 13th minute in a first half that the Europeans dominated in terms of chances.
Superstar Lionel Messi was largely anonymous as young upstart Mbappe took the limelight.
The French teenager won the spot-kick after being fouled in the box by Marcos Rojo. The Paris St-Germain forward sprinted 40 meters before entering the penalty area, where he was halted by the Argentina defender.
Griezmann took the penalty with a cool head, sending goalkeeper Armani the wrong way.
It could easily have been 2-0 or 3-0 by half-time as Griezmann smashed a free-kick off the Argentine bar and Pogba wasted a great chance from a free-kick just outside the area.
Argentina had 69 per cent possession but very little in the way of first-half chances until Di Maria sprang from nowhere to level the match. A seemingly harmless ball from Ever Banega across the middle fell to the PSG star some 35 metres from goal, but his opportunistic strike paid dividends as Hugo Lloris could only watch as it hit the back of the net.
Much was made before the match of the authority Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli had over his team but his half-time pep-talk seemed to do the trick as the South Americans appeared to have delivered a remarkable turnaround. A free-kick was deflected by Pogba out to Messi, whose shot was blocked by Lloris but Gabriel Mercado was on hand to divert the loose ball into the net.
France were in no mood to lie down though and they were back on level terms when a Lucas Hernandez cross came in and France right-back Benjamin Pavard fired home past Armani.
And the French were partying as Mbappe scored from a goalmouth scramble to give France the lead on 64 minutes and then finished off a great pass from Giroud to condemn Messi as the greatest player to never win a World Cup.
With time running down, Messi failed to get his boot on a half-chance, the ball rolling harmlessly into the arms of Lloris, summing up the Argentine’s failed quest on the biggest stage.
Aguero gave them a consolation as he scored in injury time but it was a little too late for Argentina.