Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Life&Culture | By Ben Goodman

France beats Croatia to win World Cup final

France beats Croatia to win World Cup final

It was the highest-scoring final since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 60 years ago.

Pogba, who didn't have a goal or assist in this World Cup before Sunday, shot the ball with his right foot but it was blocked from close range.

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

In the final analysis, Didier Deschamps' France team at this World Cup should be remembered as a mostly pragmatic side that was capable of some exquisite attacking moments but more often displayed a grit and solid organization that reflected their coach.

Putin was later on the field during a downpour to award medals to the players.

"It's a young team who are on the top of the world. It is true that we experienced a great night at the Velodrome against the reigning world champions", said Lloris.

Antoine Griezmann scored on a penalty kick in the 38th minute to break a 1-1 tie, and France poured it on in the second half en route to a 4-2 victory at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for the second World Cup in its history.

After a period of France domination, Croatia got their equaliser through a wonderful strike from Perisic on 29 minutes.

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But then came the big talking point of the match.

There was the VAR decision by the Argentine referee Nestor Pitana for the penalty that might have gone away had he not been called over the review screen.

But first Griezmann, then Pogba and Mbappe ensured Giroud's blind spot in front of goal mattered very little and even a late consolation from Mandzukic could not spoil the French party.

Pitana, a 43-year-old physical education teacher, has already refereed four matches at Russian Federation 2018, taking charge of Russian Federation v Saudi Arabia (Opening Game) and Mexico v Sweden in the group stages, the Round of 16 match between Croatia and Denmark, as well as the quarter-final between Uruguay and France.

However, it was their 4-3 win against Argentina in the round of 16 that brought France into the limelight.

When Antoine Griezmann scored France's second goal minutes later on a penalty, a few grumbles could be heard.

There was an outpouring of sympathy for the Croatian maestro, who was named the World Cup's best player but couldn't quite lead his team past the final hurdle. Just ask England. This despite the fact that Croatia have now played a full 90 minutes more than France.

"To be honest with you, we are in our bubble", said goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris. "We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very hard".

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