Frenchman Pogba-Griezmann kept their promise. They have made a promise after the semi-final that they will add another star to their jerseys, and they did so. After a long 20 years, the French have taken the World Cup Trophy to the home. And Croatia, who played the first ever final in the history, went home with tears.
Though the French have won the final by 4-2, there can be a debate on their on-field performance as well. But that debate has nothing to do with their celebration of the World Cup trophy. In fact, last night’s Luzhniki Stadium had all the colour of a World Cup final the way it should be.
There were 3 goals in each half of the match, one own goal, one VR penalty, a goalkeeper’s ridiculous error, and two eye-catching goals. It seems like a package show for the football. And after the end of the package show, the name of the winning team was France. French coach Didier Deschamps has also made an incredible history with his team as well. As only third person after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer, he has won the World Cup title both as players and the coach.
If someone thinks that Croatia played alone in the first half of the match, it would not be wrong. Because 67% of the ball possession belonged to the Croats. They took 5 shots to the opponent’s post 2 of them were on target. Instead, France’s took only shot to opponent post.
Anyway, it was the French who goes forward in the first half with a 2-1 scoreline. But how?
The first goal of the match came in the 19th minute. Griezmann got in a free kick outside of the Croatian box. Griezmann took the free kick as well, but it was deflected by Mario Mandzukic’s head on its way to the goal. Unwantedly, Mandzukic made an unfortunate history to become the first player to score an own goal in the World Cup final. Just 9 minutes later, Croatia got back into the game with an incredible goal by Ivan Perisic.
In the 34th minute of the match, the great Perisic became the “poor” Perisic. He jumped into the box to stop the Griezmann’s corner. But the ball hits his hand after it hit Matuidi’s head. Simultaneously, the French players appealed for handball. Considering that appeal, the Argentine referee decided to give the penalty after watching the TV replay with the help of VR.
Griezmann scored the penalty and his team had a 2-1 goals lead. France had never lost a match with Griezmann scored for them. With this statistics, France went to the first-half break.
After that, Pogba almost ensured the victory of France in the 59th minute. He scored a superb goal. First, he took a right foot shot from in front of the Croatian box. It hit the defender and came back to him once again. Then he took a strong shot by his left foot, and the shot went to the net. Croat goalkeeper Subasic couldn’t do anything except watching the ball to go into his net.
Just 6 minutes later, in the 65th minute, France scored again and ensured their second World Cup title in advance. This time Mbappe make his name to the score-sheet. He received a ball from Lucus Hernandez and took a ground shot from just outside of the box. That 4-1 scoreline was enough to confirm the World Cup for La Blues.
After the Brazilian legend Pelé, 19-year-old French forward Mbappe made a unique record of scoring a goal in the World Cup final as the second teenager in the history. Although Pele scored at the age of 17 in 1958 to make their first ever World Cup title.
After this goal, the result of the match was confirmed, but there were still some dramatic parts left in the match. French goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris made a ridiculous mistake at the 69th minute. Even after the match, the French captain laughed at the TV replay of that goal.
He got a back-pass from one of his defenders, and he tried to pass that back to the same defender. However, Croat striker Mario Mandzukic came in front of him. Mandzukic predicted Lloris’s intention. While the French goalkeeper tried to pass the ball to his defender Mandzukic placed his feet on the way of the ball, and the ball went to the net.
After this goal, Mandzukic marked his name strongly into the book of history. He made a unique “record” of scoring for both sides in the final as the only player to do so.
After this goal, there were only 21 minutes left in the match. And in that 21 minute, Modric-Rakitic-Mandzukic all tried really hard for the goal.
But they could not afford to chase that impossible.
On the contrary, they almost conceded another goal. If Pagba did not miss the easiest opportunity of the match, perhaps after 1958, the World Cup final will see the 5-2 scoreline once again. But in the last 52 years, this 4-2 scoreline is the biggest scoreline in the final.
At the end of the match when the French team were celebrating their second World Cup title, the other side of the field was reflecting the disappointment of the Croatian players. Actually, this is the destiny. At the end of the game, one team will rejoice, another will break down with tears. Even though these tears are hundred times more painful than tears of other ten defeats.
When the ultimate moment of crowning the champions comes into play, Moscow’s sky breaks down into a heavy shower. This rain is a symbol of getting rid of the tiredness of one month’s long journey of the World Cup and a fresh acceptance of the new king.
Hearty congratulations to the France team for being the champion and thanks to Croatia for giving us a beautiful display of football. However, special thanks to Russia for providing a unique and extraordinary World Cup.