France beat Croatia to win World Cup after Croatia thriller

Tonya Becker
July 16, 2018

The has won the World Cup second time in 20 years.

Twenty years after their first triumph, France are the World Champions again as they defeated Croatia 4-2 in an eventful Fifa World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.

The star Croatian turned villain ten minutes after his goal, hand balling clumsily in the box which saw referee Nestor Pintana award France a spot-kick for Griezmann to dispatch.

Both sides came out swinging in the second half but Paul Pogba finished past Danijel Subasic before Kylian Mbappe powered home an extraordinary finish to seal the deal for France. Antoine Griezmann's lofted free kick from the French right was nodded into his own net by Mario Mandzukic. "The crowd absolutely erupted as soon as the final whistle sounded, all 80,000 of those packed in the fan zone".

A month after the World Cup group stage kicked off with a blowout win by Russian Federation, only two teams are left standing.

Deschamps, who was captain of the side that won the 1998 World Cup in France, also said the side were keeping their feet on the floor. That set the stage for goals by Pogba and Mbappe - who became the first teenage after Pele in 1958 to score in World Cup final - which took the match away from the Croats. The likes of Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Benjamin Pavard and Raphael Varane are all still young so this French team could dominate world football for years to come.

Croatia, beaten by the French in the semi-finals in their first World Cup appearance in 1998, continued to press but their energy was sapped and France safely held out.

France made their first change as an out-of-sorts N'Golo Kante was replaced by Steven N'Zonzi and it wasn't long before they had a comfortable lead.

Lloris was the goalkeeper in that 1-0 loss in Paris, facing a Portugal team that had reached the final after some extra-time victories.

The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head was the 12th of the tournament.

All too soon the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which has left so many of us in awe is coming to a close.

This should be fun and we anticipate a lot of goals.

"We are sad but proud at the same time", coach Zlatko Dalic said.

"We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very hard", Dalic said, after congratulating France on their victory.

Croatia rallied, as they did against England when they fell behind in the semi-final, and were level after a stunning striker from Ivan Perisic.

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