2018 FIFA World Cup Finals Recap France-Croatia

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France-Croatia www.standard.co.uk

France are the World Champions after defeating Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final

            France are the World Champions for the second time in history after beating Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final. France lifted up the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1998, when they were the host of the FIFA World Cup. The rematch of the 1998 World Cup semifinals between Croatia and France, where France won 2-1 in 1998, ended once again in a French victory. The game started off with Croatia controlling the tempo, something France has shown can be comfortable with playing behind the ball. In the 18th minute the first goal was scored but it was an own goal by Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić off Antoine Griezmann’s free kick just outside the penalty box. Replay later showed that Griezmann was not fouled by Marcelo Brozović but he dived to get the foul, which the referee bought as a foul, which gave France the free kick in a dangerous which would result in France scoring in the 18th minute. Croatia would fire back quickly as Ivan Perišić scored a great left footed strike after a scramble for the ball in the penalty box, beautiful fake shot by Perišić let him get free from one of the World’s best defensive midfielders N’Golo Kante which resulted in Perišić scoring. France would receive a penalty in the 38th minute after a questionable handball in the box; question is was the hand in natural position when the ball hit Perišić’s hand. The referee used the VAR system (Video Assistant Referee) to help make the decision, but he took an awful long time to make the decision. At the end referee signaled a penalty for France and Griezmann stepped up to spot and scored the penalty to put France up 2-1 and that is how the first half ended. Two controversial goals by France in the first half had France undeservedly up 2-1 at the half. At half time Croatia had 7 shots and 61% possession to France’s 2 shots and 39% possession, clearly its seen who was the better team at the half. But all that matters is the result which the French had in their favor. Croatia had to become even more aggressive in the second half in order to find the equalizer; the French used this to their advantage to sit back and counter attack. Paul Pogba scored in the 59th minute to increase France’s lead 3-1 after his first shot was blocked by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, but Paul Pogba got the rebound and shot a nice left footed finesse shot around the keeper. France quickly found a fourth goal as a solo effort from outside from teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe scored from a shot outside the box, this made the score 4-1 in the 65th minute. This pretty much wrapped up the game even though the third goal was what killed any confidence and motivation Croatia had left. Mario Mandžukić would decrease the deficit by scoring off French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’s mistake, making the game 4-2 and that is how the game would end. Croatia was the better team in this game by looking at the stats and the way they played. France played more behind the ball and off counter attacks, which is how they scored their third and fourth goals off, this plan worked well for France at the end. France are the 2018 FIFA World Cup champions.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final
Luka Modrić and Kylian Mbappe www.goal.com

2018 FIFA World Cup Awards:

            Golden Ball (best player): Luka Modrić (Croatia)

            Golden Boot (top goal scorer): Harry Kane (England)

            Golden Glove (best goalkeeper): Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

            Best Young Player: Kylian Mbappe (France)

 

 

Dino Pavleka: @dino_ATL

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