In an insanely happening FIFA World Cup final, France have taken the 2018 trophy home! Playing against Croatia, the French side has become the first to score four goals in a FIFA World Cup final since Brazil did so in 1970.
The FIFA World Cup final kicked off with a closing ceremony, dominated by Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Kosovian Era Istrefi singing Live It Up, the World Cup anthem.
On the pitch, former German player Philipp Lahm handed the World Cup trophy back, placing it on a plinth as both teams marched out of the tunnel. Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana, 43, officiated, after already having refereed four matches in Russia.
The first few minutes of the match saw France struggling to get out of their half, while Croatia seemed to be in control. BBC co-commentator Martin Keown noticed, saying, “Croatia just look sharper all around the pitch. They all know their roles and responsibilities.”
France 1-0 Croatia (Mario Mandzukic)
The first goal of the match was an own goal! Mbappe dribbled past Rakitic but the low cross was booted. Griezmann, looking for contact, went down and France has a free kick about 30 yards from the goal. Griezmann went for it; Mandzukic jumped to block the shot and ended up turning it into his own net, leaving Subasic helpless.
France 1 – 1 Croatia (Ivan Perisic)
26 minutes into the game, Croatia had a free-kick wide left. It was crossed in and Pogba held Mandzukic, though France got away with it. The free-kick came in and Vida laid it back, with Perisic getting his first touch. He pulled the ball from a tackle, and then went for a low volley, past Lloris!
France 2 – 1 Croatia (Antoine Griezmann)
The second goal for France came in from a penalty. Subasic faced Griezmann. The ball went bottom left and Subasic dove bottom right, giving France the lead again.
Half-time: France led with two goals despite having taken on shot at goal, though Croatia were still clearly the better side.
France 3 – 1 Croatia (Paul Pogba)
Perisic took on Pavard, beat him and crossed. Pogba hit what may have been the pass of the tournament. Mpabbe ran into it, and Griezmann then controlled it while setting up a shot. Pogba took the rebound on his left and curled it into the net!
Interestingly, the commentator, Guy Mowbray, shouted, “COMETH THE MAN! I bet Mourinho wants to buy him now, even though he’s already got him.”
France 4 – 1 Croatia (Kylian Mbappe)
Mpabbe became the first teenager to score, since Pele. Mandzukic was beaten by Hernandez, who played a pass while Vida failed to defend. He swung it, and Mpabbe buried the shot from 25 yards! Needless to say, Croatian fans at this point knew they knew the match was pretty much over. With only 20 minutes to go, Croatia had to score 3 goals against France, to be able to win.
France 4 – 2 Croatia (Mario Mandzukic)
Merely four minutes later, spirits were up again as fans stood up in stands to watch what was a very strange and very happening FIFA World Cup final. Where Llorid could have knocked the ball away, he tried to nutmeg Mandzukic in his own boz. Mandzikic stuck a leg out, and while the entire bit looked rather idiotic, he scored!
By the time the match hit 90 minutes, the French fans were dancing in the stands. Just as the match hit a close, there was an uproar as the commentator could be heard saying, “Tonight in Paris, they’re going to party like it’s 1998!”
The Croatian players went to applaud the fans, while Griezmann was in tears on the pitch.
Man of the Match: Antoine Griezmann
What an astonishing World Cup, with a final that will be remembered for a long time!