France, one of the pre-tournament favourites, join Uruguay, Croatia and hosts Russia in the knockout rounds with one group game to go — and condemned tearful Peru to an early exit.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe — aged 19 years and 183 days — underlined his rich talent and became France’s youngest scorer at a World Cup when he poked home in the first half.
Didier Deschamps’ side face Denmark on Tuesday with top spot in Group C at stake but progression to the next stage assured.
In contrast, Peru face Australia with their fate sealed and just pride to play for in front of their passionate and large following that has decamped to Russia.
“I have always said that the World Cup is a dream for any player and it was a dream for me too, it was a dream that came true and I hope there will be more days like this,” Mbappe, arguably the best player in the world in his age bracket, said afterwards.
Deschamps, smiling broadly, admitted that his side were on the backfoot for the last 20 minutes and was unhappy at the way they easily surrendered possession.
But with many of the other supposed big guns at the tournament toiling, the former international midfielder and World Cup winner as a player said two wins from two games should not be sniffed at.