France outclassed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow’s ‘electrifying’ Luzhniki stadium on Sunday to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years – they last won the World Cup trophy in 1998 when they had their golden generation of trailblazers in their squad with the likes of legendary players Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry leading the team.
The French were off to a slow start at the initial stages of the first half and had a stint of luck going for them on which they capitalized to develop a new found confidence. The luck came in the form of an own goal – Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic headed an Antoine Griezmann free-kick into his own net in the 18th minute, the first own goal in a World Cup final.
France were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute after the Argentine referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee. The penalty was calmly converted by Antoine Griezmann at the 38th minute, he slotted it home to the bottom left corner.
Mario Mandzukic won a goal back for Croatia at the 69th minute after a horrendous mistake by France keeper Hugo Lloris, making it the highest-scoring final over 90 minutes in 60 years, but that was that for Croatia as they failed to find another goal.
Following the victory, wild celebrations broke down in the streets of France and in Luzhniki stadium in Moscow and around the globe. Here are some visuals including videos from New York and stunning images from the iconic Eiffel Tower –
After leading the match for the second time in the big final, there was no looking back for France, Croatia fought hard for an hour but were worn down after playing extra time at three back-to-back games heading to the finals and goals from Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe put France 4-1 ahead within 65 minutes of the game.
Regardless of the outcome of the final game, it has been a brilliant campaign for Croatia, their determination, passion and never give up attitude inspired football fans all across the world.