7/15/2018 8:41:45 PM (GMT+3)

France quell Croatian challenge to win FIFA World Cup

France quell Croatian challenge to win FIFA World Cup

MOSCOW: France showed the grit and determination by quelling Croatia 4-2 in the final and bagged their second World Cup title here at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday evening.

It seemed so strange – Croatia were outstanding, but they were not the one who went back home with the trophy.

A bit of irony that Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic, who scored against England in the semifinal, were the reasons for their side’s defeat.

A great start was nullified by Mandzukic, who headed an own-goal following Antoine Griezmann free-kick on top of the box in 18th minute 18th minute

The Atletico Madrid’s spot-kick was the sixth penalty in a World Cup final and all but one was converted.

Croatia, who recorded their best performances after third-place finish in 1998, equalised 10 minutes later when Perisic scored from inside the box with a powerful left-footer.

But the powerful left-back handled a ball inside the box and watched his side lose the lead after Antoine Griezmann converted from the spot in the 38th.

While France reeled under pressure from the barrage of attacks, they scored a superb goal through Paul Pogba, whose first attempt was blocked.

But the Manchester United player used Modric as a shield to sweep a left-footer into the net with the goalkeeper unsighted.

The outlook of the match immediately changed, and this was the moment when Kylian Mbappe entered into history after becoming the second youngest scorer in a World Cup final after Pele in 1958.

The 19-year-old, who won the best youngest football award, found a huge space outside Croatia box and picked out the bottom left corner with a precise, bouncing finish past Danijel Subasic.

Dalic’s side reduced the deficit courtesy an error from France captain and keeper Hugo Lloris, who tried to dribble around Mandzukic as he closed down the goalkeeper, but the forward simply stuck out a leg and tackled the ball into an empty net.

Luka Modric, one of the finest players of this era, will be disappointed not to have lifted the trophy after his team came so close.

However, they won the hearts of the millions with their determination and fightback, but were a bit unlucky.