France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

France have won the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ after defeating Croatia 4-2 in a thoroughly entertaining Final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in what was a fitting end to an outstanding tournament.

Against the run of play France netted the first goal when Antoinne Griezmann was awarded a controversial free kick on the edge of the box after going down lightly.

As pragmatic a manager as he was a player, don't expect Deschamps to have France come out on the front foot against Croatia.

The past two World Cup finals were 0-0 after 90 minutes, and both were settled by a single goal in the second half of extra time.

Croatia's Ivan Perisic, second left, handles the ball to give away a penalty as he jumps for the ball with France's Blaise Matuidi during the final match between France and Croatia.

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.

The four people who charged onto the field in the 52nd minute simultaneously in what appeared to be old-fashioned police uniforms were tackled to the ground by stewards, but not before one shared a high five with a French player in the center circle.

France is the established power with a young team full of speed and skill. Some are champions at the age of 19.

Robbie Jay Barratt- AMA  GettyImages
Robbie Jay Barratt- AMA GettyImages

This was best exemplified by Mbappe, the star who has arrived and perhaps the only one given true freedom in the 4-2-3-1 system, setting the tone as early as the eighth minute when he tracked back to tackle Croatian left-back Ivan Strinic.

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

Griezmann stroked home the penalty, his fourth goal of the competition and his third from a spot-kick.

As the game ended 4-2, they couldn't hide sadness but many said they were impressed by what Croatia has achieved at the tournament. His cutback found Griezmann, and he laid the ball off for Pogba to score at the second attempt from 18 yards.

Mandzukic started the scoring by netting an own goal for France. Croatia will be bitterly disappointed by the result, however, they have achieved their nation's best ever World Cup finish since their independence from Yugoslavia.

Croatia's shirtless fans saluted their players as torrential rain lashed down on the presentation ceremony and coach Zlatko Dalic had few regrets.

"We have achieved so much", the 26-year-old Sofia Halinovcic said.

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