Vastavam web: France won the World Cup for the second time in spectacular style on Sunday by ending battling Croatia’s dreams of a first major title with a 4-2 victory in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades. France triumphed thanks to an own goal from Mario Mandzukic, an Antoine Griezmann penalty — awarded after a VAR review – and second-half strikes by Paul Pogba and teenager Kylian Mbappe.
It was the highest-scoring decider since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 60 years ago. There were as many goals in 90-action-packed minutes in Moscow as in the last four finals combined, and three of those went to extra time. But the only statistic France will really care about is that the result makes them world champions for the second time following their triumph on home soil 20 years ago.
The French led 2-1 at halftime after Mandzukic’s own goal and Griezmann’s VAR penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level. Quickfire strikes by Pogba and Mbappe midway through the second half put France in charge before Mandzukic was gifted a goal by keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes. 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.
“How marvellous,” Deschamps said having been carried shoulder high around the pitch by his players. “It’s a young team who are on the top of the world. Some are champions at the age of 19. “We did not play a huge game but we showed mental quality – and we scored four goals. “It hurt so much to lose the Euro two years ago, but it made us learn too and we worked so hard for 55 days here.”