MOSCOW, (BGM NEWS) :- France defeated Croatia 4 -2 to win their second FIFA world soccer tournament in a thrilling encounter inside the Luzhiniki stadium here Sunday.
The French took the lead after 18 minutes , when a free kick by Antonio Greizmann deflected off the head of Mario Mandzukic into his own goal. Playing some vintage soccer, Croatia struck back soon after through Ivan Perisic’s left side beauty to level the score at one goal apiece.
But,a controversial penalty awarded on video review close to the end of the half, restored France’s lead going into half time. As they did at the start of the game, Croatia pressed from all angles as they pinned back the free flowing french men for much of the second half. But, they failed to penetrate the tight French defense which stood up well to some withering attack.
Paul Pogba’s left side strike from outside the 18 yard box gave France a 3 -1 scoreline after he broke free from the Croatia’s defense. Not long after teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe picked up a cross in midfield, controlled and fired past the Croatian goal keeper for a fourth goal by France which left the outcome of the game beyond Croatia .
Mbappe’s goal was the first by a teenager at a world cup final since the legendary Brazilan Pele did so at age 17 in the 1958 final. Croatia who never seem to give up was able to add their second goal due to an error by the French goal keeper who was slow to get to the ball.
More than 78,000 fans packed the stadium for this final. In Paris meanwhile, thousands of French residents took to the streets, and lit bond fires in wild celebrations while the players reveled in joy at winning the world cup.
The presentation ceremony was held in pouring rain which left FIFA officials,the presidents of Frnce and Russia and the players drenched. For Croatia, they will return home as heroes. Though they fell short of winning the Trophy, they won the hearts of millions around the world with their display throughout the tournament to reach the final when no one thought they had a chance of doing so.