France world cup champion
Image credit: FiFa

France won the World Cup for the second time by ending battling Croatia’s dream of a first title with a 4-2 victory on Sunday in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades.

France led 2-1 at halftime after a Mario Mandzukic own goal and an Antoine Griezmann VAR penalty, with Ivan Perisic briefly bringing first-time finalists Croatia level.

Quickfire strikes by Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half put France on course for the title but Mandzukic was gifted a goal by French keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes.

France, however, withstood a spirited Croatia assault to lift the trophy for the second time, following their success on home soil 20 years ago, and ensure there was no repeat of two years ago when they were beaten in the European Championship final by Portugal in Paris.

The victory means that Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 side, becomes the third man to win the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

It was the highest-scoring final since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 60 years ago. The landmarks came thick and fast in the first half too.

Adidas Golden Boot: Harry Kane scoring six goals for England

Adidas Golden Glove award: Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois

Starting Lineup:

France (4-3-3)

Hugo Lloris (capt), Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante ( Sub: N’Zonzi 55’minutes); Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi ( Tolisso 73’minutes), Olivier Giroud

Yellow card: yellow-cardLucas Hernandez, yellow-cardN’Golo Kante

Croatia (4-3-3)

Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic (Sub: Pjaca 81’minutes), Luka Modric (capt), Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic; Ante Rebic (Sub: Kramaric 71), Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic

Yellow Card: yellow-cardSime Vrsaljko

Adidas Golden Ball Award: Luka Modric

FIFA Young Player award : Kylian Mbappe

FIFA Fair Play Trophy: Spain

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