France Crowned 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions! Croatia Beaten 4-2


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France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years.

SNAPSHOTS

France are the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions
•In the final on Sunday night, France beat Croatia 4-2
•This is France’s second World Cup trophy, their first since 1998
•Griezmann, Pogba and Mbappe struck for France after a Croatia own goal
•Perisic and Mandzukic scored for Croatia

France won the World Cup for the second time in spectacular style on Sunday as a 4-2 victory in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades ended battling outsiders Croatia’s dreams of a first title.

After an early own goal by Mario Mandzukic France’s big guns delivered on the biggest stage of all as Antoine Griezmann – with a penalty awarded after a VAR review – Paul Pogba and teenage tyro Kylian Mbappe all hit the target.

Ivan Perisic and Mandzukic replied for Croatia, who ended beaten but unbowed after making much of the running in their first appearance in the final.

It was the highest-scoring decider since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 60 years ago.

There were as many goals in 90-action-packed Moscow minutes as in the last four finals combined, and three of those went to extra time.

The game featured the first final own goal and the first VAR-decided spot-kick — one that Croatia were furious about and that was arguably the turning point of the game.

But the only statistic France will really care about is that the result makes them world champions for the second time following their triumph on home soil in 1998.

Having lost the 2006 final on penalties to Italy, it also meant there was no repeat of two years ago when they were beaten in the European Championship final by Portugal in Paris.

The win means Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 side, becomes the third man to lift the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

 

French players throw France head coach Didier Deschamps into the air celebrating at the end of the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Own Goal
Croatia started full of energy but went behind in the 18th minute when a Griezmann free kick skidded in off the head of Mandzukic, who had scored the extra-time winner against England in the semi-final.

That meant it was the fourth successive knockout game in which Croatia conceded first but again they found a way back as Perisic, who got the equaliser against England, smashed in a low shot 10 minutes later.

But then came the moment which will keep the VAR debate at the top of the sport’s agenda.

Perisic flapped an arm at a corner and after Argentine referee Nestor Pitana conducted a protracted VAR review he awarded the 28th penalty of the tournament, another record.

Ignoring more Croatian protests, Griezmann stroked the ball home in the 38th minute for his fourth goal of Russia 2018.

That made it the highest-scoring first half since 1974, when West Germany led the Netherlands 2-1 – also the final score – but this time there was much more to come.

Croatia were on top again after the break but France held out and went 3-1 up on the hour asMbappe and Griezmann combined to set up Pogba on the edge of the box.

The midfielder’s right-footed shot was blocked but he quickly and coolly curved the rebound in with his left.

Six minutes later Lucas Hernandez tore down the left to set up Mbappe to drill home a low shot as the 19-year-old young player of the tournament claimed his fourth goal in Russia and became the first teenager to score in a final since Pele in 1958.

Croatia’s Luka Modric and teammates at the end of the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018

FRANCE WON THE CUP BUT CROATIA WON HEARTS❤️💕….So FIFA Russia 2K18 comes to an end

 


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