Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

France won the cup, Croatia won hearts

France won the cup, Croatia won hearts

Yet even when the second half started it still felt like Croatia were in this game, and capable of going up a gear as they had in the semi-final against England after half-time. Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer of Germany are the others.

There were as many goals in 90 action-packed Moscow minutes as in the last four finals combined, and three of those went to extra time.

Lloris has been prone to mistakes on occasion, and he'd had a solid World Cup until gifting Mandzukic Croatia's second goal. "We took the hard path, probably we will be the only team at a World Cup to have played eight games to get to a final if you tally up all the minutes", admitted Dalic.

France, which claimed the country's only World Cup title on home turf in 1998, will be playing in their third final in 20 years. And we scored four goals anyway.

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France will have the heartbreak of losing the Euro 2016 final two years ago as an extra source of motivation, too. "If we are like today, through all the tournament, I believe we can go far".

It was the fourth successive knockout game in which Croatia conceded first but again they found a way back as Perisic, who got the equalizer against England, smashed in a low shot 10 minutes later.

His handball at a corner could hardly be described as deliberate, yet Argentine referee Nestor Pitana reviewed the video by the side of the pitch and gave the penalty.

Led by a man-of-the-match performance by Antoine Griezmann, France weathered early Croatian attacks before scoring with their first effort of the match. He had total confidence in his left-footed shot right after having total confidence in his right-footed shot, showing great technical skill with both feet.

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In the second-half, France added two more goals - from Manchester United's Paul Pogba in the 59th minute and Paris Saint Germain prodigy Kylian Mbappe in the 65th. Griezmann sent the ball into the back of the net with a confident strike from the spot.

After thw final whistle, France coach Didier Deschamps was thrown into the air in a celebration by his players after becoming just the third person to win the World Cup as a player and as a coach.

Croatia's talismanic skipper Luka Modric received the Golden Ball for the player of the tournament, while Mbappe got the Silver Ball for the young player of the tournament. "I think what we have accomplished will be remembered forever and we can be proud of ourselves".

Luka Modric wins Golden Ball
Luka Modric puts team honours above individual accolades ahead of Croatia's World Cup final showdown with France in Moscow . The tournament featured 169 goals scored and it came within two of tying the highest scoring World Cup ever.


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