France beat Croatia 4-2 to win FIFA World Cup 2018

Russia2018

MOSCOW – France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow鈥檚 Luzhniki stadium on Sunday to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years.

The final is being played at 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, capital of Russia.

The French, playing their third World Cup final, were made to sweat initially and were lucky to go ahead when Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic headed an Antoine Griezmann free kick into his own net in the 18th minute, the first own goal in a World Cup final.

Ivan Perisic leveled with a powerful shot 10 minutes later but the Croatia midfielder was then penalised for handball following a VAR review and Griezmann stepped up coolly to convert the 38th-minute penalty and put France 2-1 up.

Croatia fought hard for an hour but gradually ran out of steam after playing extra time in their three previous matches, and goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe gave France a three-goal cushion.

Mandzukic pounced on a mistake by France keeper Hugo Lloris to cut the deficit in the 69th minute, making it the highest-scoring final over 90 minutes in 60 years, but Croatia could not find the net again in their first World Cup final.

The last time the two nations met in a World Cup was in the 1998 semi-final when two Lilian Thuram goals sunk a Croatian side playing in their first World Cup as an independent nation.

Win or lose, this Croatia team are already national heroes for improving on the 1998 team’s performance.

Belgium proved too strong for England in Saturday’s third-place playoff as Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored in Saint Petersburg and the Belgians bettered the achievement of their 1986 team.

The next World Cup will be held in 2022 in Qatar.