France vs Croatia – France Won FIFA World Cup 2018 final
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
The world stops here for ninety minutes. Even for the all powerful presidents of the host nation Russia, the finalists France and Croatia and of course FIFA, they joined the crowd of 78000 people at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to witness enthralling and engrossing footballing drama. It is not just another ninety minutes of football, it is the grandest game of them all. It’s the pinnacle of existence for any footballer. The prize at stake? The FIFA World Cup 2018 Final. A place in the history books, and immortality in your countrymen’s hearts. After all the drama and upsets we’d seen so far, there was no clear favorite in this one. France with one of the strongest sides did make it all the way to the final. Their opponents? Probably no one even in their wildest dreams would’ve imagined. The smallest nation ever to reach the final since Uruguay in 1950, Croatia.
Croatia started the game really well and dominated the first half entirely but conceded twice, including the first ever World Cup final own goal from Mandzukic. They did equalise through a wonderful Ivan Perisic strike before he himself handled the ball inside his penalty area, where the VAR burst into scene to award a penalty quite dramatically. Griezmann promptly slotted it home and we had the first final in 44 years to see three goals in the first half itself! France came out stronger in the second half as two stunners from Pogba and the teenager with the world at his feet, Kylian Mbappe put them 4-1 ahead. Mandzukic did get one back after a comedy error from Lloris. But Deschamps’ men held their nerves from there on and defended the two goal lead with their lives until the final whistle was blown.
Redemption for Didier Deschamps’ team as they bury their ghosts from the Euros two years back while he makes history by becoming only the third man to win the World Cup both as a player and as a coach. The Croatian tears were engulfed in the rain who really put on a show throughout the tournament that did themselves and their entire nation proud. As for France, they’re on top of the world and to sum it up in Peter Drury’s words,”Be honest. Whoever you are, wherever you are, no matter the age you are, no matter which team you support, there’s a little bit of you that wants to be Kylian Mbappe tonight.”
To know the game in details, keep reading below.️
8’ – Rakitic releases Strinic into the box who has room to cross it but Mbappe makes a vital challenge to let the ball go out for a corner. Great determination from the teenager.
18’ – Griezmann is brought down by Brozovic after he catches his trailing leg and France have a free kick in a dangerous position.
18’ – GOAL! France are ahead in the World Cup final! Griezmann delivers a great ball in the box and Croatia, having a deep defensive line are made to pay for it as Mandzukic’s attempted clearance ends up in the back of his own net! The first ever own goal in a world cup final and the 12th of this world cup!
21’ – MISS! Modric’s free kick is met by Vida at the near post but it’s powered over the bar.
27’ – Kante is the first player to be shown a yellow card as he brings down Perisic.
28’ – GOAL! Croatia are on level terms! France fail to clear the danger from the resulting free kick as the ball is knocked in by Mandzukic and then Vida before falling to Perisic who takes a touch to make himself room and hammering a left foot strike into the right post beyond Lloris. Great goal from the Inter player!
34’ – It’s a penalty! Griezmann’s corner at the near post is missed by Matuidi and goes out after hitting Perisic’s arm. The referee didn’t notice it immediately but with French protests and advise of his assistant referees he points to the VAR. He replays the incident over and over before finally pointing to the spot. So unlucky for Croatia!
38’ – GOAL! Griezmann keeps his cool! The Atletico attacker sends Subasic the wrong way as he despatches the penalty with great ease. France are back in the lead!
48’ – SAVE! Lloris is called upon action as Modric releases Rebic down the left inside channel who produces a vicious strike that was destined for the top corner but for Lloris’ save at full stretch.
53’ – SAVE! Mbappe comes to life as he powers past Vida through the right before taking a low shot which is kept out by the legs of Subasic. Vital!
55’ – France make their first change as Kante is brought off for N’Zonzi.
59’ – GOAL! It’s a belter from the Manchester United man! Mbappe breaks down the right flank before teeing up Griezmann who passes it back to Pogba. His first shot with the right foot is blocked by Vida but the rebound falls straight to him and he places it beautifully with his left beyond the wrong footed Subasic. France are in the driving seat now!
65’ – GOAL! Oh my word, it had to be him! Lucas Hernandez breaks down the left before finding Mbappe who lines it up before unleashing a low strike, placed into the bottom corner. Vida fails to block it out and the keeper should’ve done better there. As for France, it might just have clinched the world cup for them.
69’ – GOAL! 4-2! What a howler from Lloris! The Tottenham keeper takes too long to pass the ball back as Mandzukic who’s trying to close him out gets the final touch on it as it ends up in the net. The Juventus forward has now scored for both sides! Still time for Croatia?
75’ – MISS! Vrsaljko decides to have a go from distance himself as France are keeping everything out from their penalty area. He asks for the ball, gets it and unleashes a powerful effort but it skims past the post.
77’ – MISS! Kramaric picks up a loose ball and plays it to Rakitic. He tries himself from distance but his shot misses the target by inches.
81’ – Croatia need to score now, and make an attacking change. Pjaca is brought on to replace Strinic.
81’ – France make their final change as Giroud is taken off for the introduction of Fekir.
89’ – MISS! Kramaric tees up Rakitic down the left but his strike goes harmlessly over the bar.
92’ – Vrsaljko is shown a yellow card for his foul on Griezmann.
FT: France 4-2 Croatia – France Won FIFA World Cup 2018 Final