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France 4-2 Croatia: Les Bleus win the 2018 World Cup

Last Updated July 15 2018, 18:01Football
France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy
France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy

France are world champions for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup final in Moscow.

It was a fitting end to a fantastic tournament, which produced 169 goals from 64 matches across Russia, six of them coming in the Luzhniki showpiece.

It means Didier Deschamps becomes only the third man to win the World Cup as both a player and manager after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer and his side did it in dramatic fashion.

France took the lead after 18 minutes, when Antoine Griezmann's free-kick was glanced into his own goal by Mario Mandzukic.

Croatia, used to conceding first, were back on level terms 10 minutes later after a moment of brilliance from Ivan Perisic, who smashed home from just inside the box.

The came a moment which threatened to define the final, as Perisic was adjudged to have handled in the box - but only after a lengthy VAR delay, the referee having initially seen no wrongdoing. Antoine Griezmann stepped up to coolly convert the resulting penalty and send his side in front at the break.

France came out firing in the second half, with Paul Pogba netting a fine left-footed effort from the edge of the area before Kylian Mbappe became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele, his long-range strike arriving just six minutes after Pogba's.

Croatia were given hope with just over 20 minutes to play when France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a calamitous error on the edge of his own six-yard box, with Mandzukic's tackle sending the ball into the back of the net.

A tireless Croatia side pushed for a third, but France held out with a degree of comfort to secure their second World Cup, 20 years on from their first.

By George Pitts

Opta match facts

  • France have won their second World Cup title having also won the competition in 1998.
  • This was the highest scoring World Cup final since England beat Germany 4-2 back in 1966.
  • Croatia are the first team to lose in their first ever appearance in a World Cup final since the Netherlands in 1974 (1-2 vs Germany).
  • Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic became the first ever player to score an own goal in a World Cup final.
  • France’s Kylian Mbappé (19y 207d) is the second youngest player to score in a World Cup final, after Pele for Brazil in 1958 (17y 249d).
  • Antoine Griezmann has scored 10 goals for France in major tournaments – only three players have scored more for Les Bleus (Michel Platini 14, Just Fontaine 13, Thierry Henry 12).
  • Croatia’s Ivan Perisic became only the second player to both score a goal, and concede a penalty in a World Cup final, after Marco Materazzi for Italy in 2006.

Goal clips

France 1-0 Croatia: Mario Mandzukic OG - 18'

France 1-1 Croatia: Ivan Perisic - 28'

France 2-1 Croatia: Antoine Griezmann - 38'

France 3-1 Croatia: Paul Pogba - 59'

France 4-1 Croatia: Kylian Mbappe - 65'

France 4-2 Croatia: Mario Mandzukic - 69'

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLife

Page last updated at 1850 BST on 15/07/2018

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