France outscores Croatia to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

Jul 15 2018, 11:04 pm

What a fitting end to perhaps the most entertaining FIFA World Cup of all-time.

Six goals were scored, the most in a World Cup final since 1966, as France defeated Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.Ā Only one other time has a World Cup final included more goals – when Brazil and Sweden combined for seven in 1958.

It’s the second time France has been crowned world champions – 20 years since their first.

Both teams will return to their countries as heroes, as the second-place finish by Croatia, a country of just four million people, is their best-ever result.

The match included a pair of World Cup final firsts, including the first-ever own goal, and the first-ever goal awarded with the use of the video assistant referee. A teenager scored a goal in this match, the second time that’s ever happened – Pele was the first.

Here’s what happened.

The goals

An own goal by Croatia’s semi-final hero Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the 18th minute, as his head connected on an Antoine Griezmann free kick.

Croatia answered back 10 minutes later, as a wonderful display of passing was finished off by a nifty play and a thunderous strike by Ivan Perisic.

Perisic was in the spotlight 10 minutes after that for a different reason. A controversial decision was made to award France a penalty after Perisic’s hand made contact with the ball in the box.

The infraction needed VAR to spot it, and Griezmann made no mistake on the penalty, giving France a 2-1 lead.

France struck twice early in the second half, courtesy of Paul Pogba and 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes, respectively.

Croatia pulled the game closer in the 69th minute, as Mandzukic took advantage of a terrible error by French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. But it was too little, too late.

Croatian captain Luka Modric was the winner of the Golden Ball Award, given to the best player in the tournament, while Mbappe was named Best Young Player. The next World Cup will take place in four years, beginning in November for the first time, in Qatar.

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