Mbappe and Giroud shine in France victory

·2-min read

France, Australia's opening World Cup opponents, have kept their hopes of staying in the top tier of the UEFA Nations League alive with a 2-0 home victory over Austria.

Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud scored the goals in Paris on Thursday.

Mbappe opened the scoring with another stunning goal before Giroud, who again showed coach Didier Deschamps he is more than a third-choice forward, sealed the world champions' win with a header.

France travel to Denmark, who are also in the Socceroos' group in Qatar, on Sunday for the countries' final Group A1 matches.

France climbed to third in Group 1 with five points from as many games.

Victory came at a price, however, as defender Jules Kounde and goalkeeper Mike Maignan sustained injuries, and may join Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba on the sidelines.

Croatia top the group after beating the Danes 2-1.

Croatia substitute Lovro Majer scored a late goal with the winner coming two minutes after visiting captain Christian Eriksen's superb equaliser.

Having beaten the Danes in Copenhagen in June, the Croatians repeated the feat to reach 10 points from five games, one ahead of Denmark in their bid for a Nations League semi-final spot.

Defender Borna Sosa, who was born in the Precko district of Zagreb and learned his trade at local club Dinamo before moving to VfB Stuttgart, had opened the scoring by slotting home from the edge of the area four minutes after the break.

In Brussels, Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored one goal and set up another as they profited from a strong first-half showing to beat Wales 2-1 in their Nations League A Group 4 clash at the King Baudouin Stadium.

Wales were fortunate not to be more than 2-0 down at the break after goals by De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi and several spurned chances, but the visitors halved the deficit early in the second period when Kieffer Moore headed in from close range.

Second-placed Belgium have 10 points from five matches and go to Amsterdam on Sunday.

They must win by three goals to overtake the Netherlands, who have 13 points at the top of the group, and qualify for the Nations League semi-finals next year.

The Dutch beat Poland 2-0 away with goals from Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn to take them within a point of winning their group.

The unbeaten Dutch have now won four of their five League A Group Four games and are three points ahead of Belgium.

The Dutch need only a draw at home to Belgium to secure a place in next year's four-team Nations League finals.