France win World Cup after classic final
- France win their second World Cup trophy
- Highest-scoring World Cup final since 1958
- Didier Deschamps becomes third man to win the World Cup as a player and head coach
- France trailed for just nine minutes and 12 seconds at this World Cup
- Mbappe second teenager in history to score in World Cup final
France beat Croatia 4-2 in a wild 2018 World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday. This game encapsulated what has been an incredible tournament in Russia as we had superb goals, VAR controversy and intriguing tactical battles.
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Les Bleus took the lead via Mario Mandzukic’s own goal but Croatia equalized when Ivan Perisic drilled home a beauty. Before half time huge drama arrived as Perisic gave away a penalty kick for handball after referee Nista Pitana used VAR, then Antoine Griezmann made it 2-1 from the spot.
France threatened to pull away in the second half as Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe each scored to make it 4-1 but even a catastrophic error from Hugo Lloris to allow Mandzukic to make it 4-2 didn’t stop France who celebrated wildly at the final whistle.
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Didier Deschamps is now just the third man on the planet to win the World Cup as both a manager and player as the man who captained France to the first World Cup title in 1998 has now led them to their second. France are now just the sixth team in history to win multiple World Cup trophies.
After France lost the 2016 European Championship final on home soil in agonizing fashion, largely the same team has bounced back to secure World Cup glory.
Croatia started well with crosses from out wide causing France problems as the underdogs settled well.
France eventually got going and they took the lead from their first big chance. Griezmann went down easily to win a free kick and he whipped the ball in and Mandzukic flicked the ball into his own goal to put France 1-0 up.
But Les Bleus led for just 10 minutes as a free kick was only half cleared and Perisic took a fine touch with his right foot and then drilled home with his left to make it 1-1.
Perisic went from hero to villain 10 minutes later as France whipped in a corner and Perisic clearly handled in the box.
Referee Nista Pitana missed the handball but VAR instructed him to look at a pitch-side TV monitor and he made the correct call, awarding a penalty to France which Griezmann slotted home to make it 2-1.
Before half time Perisic put in a dangerous cross into the box but Ante Rebic couldn’t quite get his shot right as they pushed for an equalizer and went close from two more set pieces before the break.
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After the break Croatia started well and Ante Rebic smashed a shot in on goal which Hugo Lloris tipped over, then Lloris rushed out to stop a chance and he was then clattered by Mandzukic.
Deschamps then brought off N’Golo Kante and he was replaced by Steven Nzonzi as France tried to regain the midfield from Croatia.
Pogba then scored the crucial third goal for France as he started a flowing move with a wonderful drilled pass, then finished off, at the second attempt, as he curled past Danijel Subasic.
France then looked to have clinched the game as Mbappe drilled home a fourth from distance with the 19-year-old becoming just the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup final.
What. A. Strike.
But no sooner had they started to believe the game was over than Lloris made a huge mistake to hand the ball right to Mandzukic who tapped home to make it 4-2.
Croatia pushed hard late on to try and pull another back as Rakitic dragged wide and they sent in plenty of crosses but France held on to win their second World Cup trophy.