France sealed emphatic win over Croatia in the final to get their hands on the World Cup, and thus ended their Russian Campaign with a glorious moment like this. The final score-line turned out to be 4-2, as the tournament drew to a close. France lifted the cup again, twenty years after they famously won in 1998. This victory makes Didier Deschamps only the third person to win the World Cup both as a player and a manager. The first two being Brazil’s Zagallo and Germany’s Franck Beckenbeur.
A tournament that has throughout been filled with thrills and drama, the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium lived up to the huge expectations,the moment Les Bleus hit the front through an 18th-minute own goal by Mario Mandzukic. This proved to be a cruel moment for Croatia’s extra-time hero in the semi-final win over The Three Lions.
Zlatko Dalic’s Croatian side had started the stronger and looked dominating at the beginning of the first half and that did make a difference. The Croatians levelled through a fine Ivan Perisic strike that was too far for the French keeper Hugo Lloris to get to. The relief of equalising did not last long as Inter Milan player Ivan Perisic was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box, as VAR made its first impact upon a World Cup final. The refree took his time before imposing this decision on the players. The twitteratti had a few mixed reactions on this, with a few users even saying that the refree has been cruel towards the Croatians.
Griezmann converted yet again from 12 yards before Croatia pursued their opponents furiously once more at the start of the second half. The French defence was good enough to keep them under control for a fair amount of time.
To add to that, there was a pitch invasion from punk protest group Pussy Riot. This disrupted the game to an extent in the 52nd minute, though Pogba and Mbappe arrowing in majestic strikes from outside the box.
An absent-minded error from France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris allowed Mandzukic to put his name on the other side of the scoreboard, which looked more like Croatia trying to gain lost pride rather than a goal that could make any difference on the game.
The conclusions we drew as France win the World Cup are as follows-
Paris Boys are pivotal
Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe both shone tonight in their own individual way. The first goal was a proof of Pogba’s brilliance as he freed Mbappe on the right with an outrageous pass.
Pogba’s finish with his left foot was amazing too. After that, you could see Pogba move with a lot more flair and easiness.
Mbappe scored in from close range as Danijel Subasic was rooted to the spot. The future of France looks stunning at present.
VAR takes centre stage
Match refree Nestor Pistana decided to review and gave a penalty that changed the fate of the match entirely. The handball was difficult call but the refree took a decision that was befitting at the moment. No point blaming Ivan Perisic now.
Croatia deserve immense credit
A nation with a population of 4.1 million, became the smallest nation to reach the World Cup final after Uruguay made it in 1950. Under the guidance of Zlatko Dalic, the side showed flair, determination, energy and immense mental spirit along the way to their road to the final.
Luka Modric deserved the Golden Ball
The 32-year-old Madrid star did very few mistakes along the way. When Croatia do not have the ball, he buzzes around and gets the ball. When they are in possession, he is the one being the centre point of their attacks. He created the most chances and did most take-ons for the Croatians. He deserves this more than anyone in the competition.