France vs. Croatia - Football Match Report

Rosalie Gross
July 16, 2018

However, for Lloris the World Cup winner's medal will help make up for the embarrassment of that moment.

France, a multi-cultural team with oodles of talent and attitude, showed flair and nerve to hold off a fighting band of Croatians 4-2, and win their second World Cup - 20 years after Zinedine Zidane had led the Les Bleus to their first triumph at home.

France had taken the lead in the 18th through Mario Mandzukic's own-goal - the first in a Fifa World Cup final and a record 12th in the tournament - off an Antoine Griezmann freekick, before Croatia's Ivan Perisic equalised with a fierce left-foot strike 10 minutes later. And before the second half ended, there was controversy with the referee using video replays to award France a penalty which Antoine Griezmann converted.

Back home in France, thousands of fans headed to the Eiffel Tower to watch a broadcast on giant screens that Paris police closed the area more than two hours before kickoff.

France coach Didier Deschamps has made some changes to his team, however.

Antoine Griezmann showed huge calm under pressure to bury his first-half penalty, while also setting up France's opening goal as the No7 proved to be a constant threat to Croatia's backline.

France is the established power with a young team full of speed and skill.

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France have broken Croatian hearts to win one of the most dramatic finals in World Cup history. France relied on their capacity to shut down their own defensive third while waiting for their opposition to cough up the advantage and when finally Croatia did so, it was never coming back.

It was the 19-year-old's fourth of the tournament and the first goal by a teenager in the World Cup final since Pele for Brazil in 1958.

Croatia needed nerves of steal once more to book a first semi-final spot since 1998, as well as boundless energy to counter a Russian Federation side with the support of a nation behind them in Sochi. That would be the tournament's final goal.

The final game of the 2018 World Cup should prove exciting as heavily-favored France takes on the underdog, Croatia.

"To be honest with you, we are in our bubble", said goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris.

"We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very hard", Dalic said, after congratulating France on their victory.

This should be fun and we anticipate a lot of goals. In fact, neither finalist has lost a single game in the World Cup.

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