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France are crowned world champions of football after beating Croatia 4-2 in Moscow yesterday Posted On 16 July 2018

In a dramatic and entertaining World Cup final, the world saw France lift the World Cup after winning their second title and their first since they hosted the 1998 tournament 20 years ago

 

The final’s drama opened with an own goal, the first ever to be witnessed at a World Cup final. It came from Croatia’s Mandzukic who headed the ball into his own goal 18 minutes into the game on a set piece to make it 1-0 to France. Croatia were generally looking the better side in the first half however.

Just ten minutes later, Croatia scored what has been dubbed as probably the best goal of this tournament. Ivan Perisic’s rocket shot past the French defence into the bottom corner.

There was the first own goal in a World Cup final. And there was another first: the first VAR-assisted goal in a World Cup final. A handball from Perisic resulted in a penalty kick for France after the use of the video assistant referee. Griezmann scored a steady and composed penalty.

Now 2-1 to France, the French nation was fully charged with energy and optimism. Pogba made history by not only being the first Premier League player to score a goal in a World Cup final since Emmanuel Petit for France in 1998, but Pogba also became the first Manchester United player to score a goal in a World Cup final. France made it 3-1 with this goal.

Croatia had trailed in every knockout match in this World Cup, and in the World Cup final it was no different. Trailing yet again, they knew they had to do something to try and come back, but they couldn’t quite find the creativity in the final third. Instead, the young Paris Saint-Germain star, Mbappe, made it 4-1 with a stunning hit, becoming the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958.

Mandzukic was able to get one back for Croatia, and became just the second player in World Cup history to score a goal for his team and an own goal in a single game. The other was Ernie Brandts for the Netherlands against Italy in 1978.

Never since the days of Pele has a World Cup final seen as many as four goals. Ultimately it was destiny for France, and although it was heartbreak for Croatia they played in their first ever World Cup final. A thoroughly entertaining World Cup concluded with a deserved France brandishing the cup for its jubilant fans in Moscow.

Meanwhile, England finished in a respectable fourth place, having lost to a Belgium team who had been particularly feisty throughout this whole campaign. England captain Harry Kane has won the Golden Boot award after finishing as the World Cup’s top scorer with six goals. Croatia’s Luka Modric won the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament.

 

Image source: SAYS.com

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