France destroyed Croatia 4-2 in the FIFA World Cup 2018 final to win their second World Cup. Les Blues scored twice in each half as they proved just too strong for a spirited Croatia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
This was the highest scoring World Cup final in 60 years.
France took the lead when Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic, who scored the extra-time winner over England in the semi-final, inadvertently headed home an Antoine Griezmann free-kick in the 18th minute for the first own goal in a World Cup final.
Croatia’s Ivan Perisic, who had also scored in the semi-final, levelled with a powerful shot 10 minutes later after France had failed to clear a Luka Modric free-kick.
But Perisic was then responsible for conceding a penalty for handball that was give following a VAR decision and Griezmann coolly converted the spot-kick in the 38th to put the French back in front.
In the second half, France stretched their lead further when Paul Pogba swept a left-footer into the net. If Croatia had any hopes of a comeback, they were dashed with that stunnung strike. Pogba also became the first Manchester United player to score in a World Cup final.
Six minutes later, France extended their advantage when Kylian Mbappe became the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final. His precise kick past Subasic meant there was very little for Croatia to do than see their chance slip away.
Mandzukic, who must have been gutted after his own goal in the first half, then reduced the deficit for Croatia.
RUSSIAN PUNK BAND BEHIND PITCH INVASION?
Russian punk band ‘Pussy Riot’ claimed responsibility for a pitch invasion during the soccer World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday, after four people briefly interrupted the game.
“Hello everyone from the Luzhniki pitch, it’s cool here!” they wrote in posts on their Twitter and Facebook accounts almost immediately after the event.
Security personnel reacted slowly initially as the quartet, all identically dressed in white shirts, black trousers and black hats, ran on to the field from behind the French goal, trying to high-five players.
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren shoved one person to the ground before security personnel carried them off.
The interruption lasted no longer than two minutes, with play resuming at the 52-minute mark
VAR USED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WORLD CUP FINAL
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was used for the first time in a World Cup final to award France a 38th-minute penalty which Antoine Griezmann scored to give them a 2-1 lead over Croatia on Sunday.
Referee Nestor Pitana was alerted to a possible handball and after checking the off-field screen he decided Ivan Perisic had handled the ball in trying to clear a French set-piece.
(With Reuters inputs)