2018 FIFA World Cup Final: France 4-2 Croatia

France's Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate after winning the World Cup. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

France are World Champions for the second time after overcoming a spirited Croatia and a pitch invasion to win 4-2.

Mario Mandzukic sent France on their way after heading a free kick into his own net. Goals from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe then settled the tie before Mandzukic then nutmegged Hugo Lloris for Croatia’s second.

Croatia made the better start but after failing to take chances, they were undone by Antoine Griezmann’s free kick when Mandzukic deflected into own net to give France the lead.

That own goal makes the Juventus forward the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup Final. 

The Vatreni then were soon back level from their own free kick worked back out to Ivan Perisic who then fired it low into the bottom right. 

Just six minutes later, Perisic appeared to handball a header from a French corner and referee, Nestor Pitana decided to consult VAR before awarding a penalty. 

Griezmann then stepped up and put his shot down middle past Danijel Subasic to give France a 2-1 lead at half time. 

Pitch Invasion sends France towards Glory

World Cup - Final - France v Croatia
An early second half invasion by members of Pussy Riot ultimately proved key to France’s triumph. (Reuters)

Soon after second half commenced, France were already on the attack with Mbappe finding Griezmann just outside box ready to unleash a powerful shot, only into Subasic’s hands. 

The 52nd minute saw a pitch invasion by Pussy Riot protesters against Russian President, Vladmir Putin. 

Croatia then appeared more shaken by that incident and France soon broke with Mbappe passing to Griezmann who found Pogba in space ready to rifle home, handing Les Bleus a two goal advantage entering the last half hour. 

Just six minutes later, Lucas Hernandez broke down the left before passing for Mbappe to blast into bottom left to seal France’s second World Cup title and a 4-1 lead. 

Mandzukic soon gave Croatia hope after nutmegging Hugo Lloris in 69th minute to pull a goal back from Croatia, leaving them just 20 minutes to find two goals to send it into extra time. 

Eventually, it wasn’t to be despite Ante Rebic firing just wide in 78th minute and France held on to spark wild celebrations at full time.

Croatia meanwhile become the first finalist to lose on their World Cup Final debut since Netherlands in 1974.  

Kane’s Golden Boot

World Cup - Group G - England vs Panama
England’s Harry Kane has won the Golden Boot after scoring six goals during this tournament. (Reuters)

England might not be bringing home the World Cup but Tottenham’s Harry Kane instead is this tournament’s Golden Boot winner, after netting six goals. 

Griezmann and Mbappe entered this match knowing that they needed a hat-trick to snatch the award away from Kane. 

Their one goal each places them level with Romelu Lukaku, Denis Cheryshev and Cristiano Ronaldo, with Griezmann ranked second due to making two assists compared to Cheryshev’s one whilst the others didn’t manage any assists. 


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