| On 1 year ago

France vs Croatia: France lifts the world cup but Croatia wins the hearts

By Koustav Shaw

So many histories were made on this day as France won their second world cup against Croatia, who played their first ever world cup final. Didier Deschamps, France’s coach, became the third ever individual to win the world cup both as a player and a coach. Kylian Mbappe became the second teenager to score in the final of a world cup after Pele. Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot award is also one of the histories made today. It was bad luck from the start for the Croatians despite their performance on the ground.

Croatia knew that this won’t be an easy task like the Argentina or England because Les Bleus came to this world as the pre favourites and they were unstoppable in the world cup. They might have scored most of the winning goals in this world cup on penalties but they could not be contained in this world cup. They scored in every match they have played before and after since the dead rubber with Denmark in their last group match. However, Croatia failed to repeat what they had been doing in the knockout stages paving their path to the final in Moscow.

Kick Off at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

The match began with both the teams confidently taking on each other on the ground with chances created on both ends when France won a free kick outside of Croatia’s penalty box.  Antoine Griezmann lined up to take it and the ball deflected to the back of the Croatian net from Mandzukic in the 18th minute. All of Croatia stood still as bad luck lurked their national team, Mario Mandzukic became the first player to score goal on both ends in a World Cup final.

The 28th minute equalizer:

After that own goal, Croatia stood up and punched harder through the French defense and an accidental foul from N’Golo Kante, gave the Croatians a 30 yard from France’s goal set piece. Luka Modric put the ball in the box which Mario Mandzukic headed to Vida, who just tapped the ball to Perisic, who then finishes it off in style past Lloris to bring Croatia back in the game. The score board read France 1-1 Croatia.

The 38th minute curse:

Croatia will always hold the controversial VAR decision as guilty because the ball struck his hand which gave the French the match winning penalty. Antoine Griezmann took it and kept a 100% penalty conversion rate in this world cup with France’s second goal of the game. France already started to celebrate the world cup France has never lost a match in which Antoine Griezmann is on the scoresheet.

Half time:

The game commenced of what remained the only 45 minutes of perhaps the most shocking world cup so far. Croatia came out of the pavilion looking for the equalizer but all luck were against them as a block of Paul Pogba’s shot by Vida saw the ball rebounded back to Pogba which he puts in the top corner, giving France the permission to start celebrating the world cup in the 59 minute . The score was France 3-1 Croatia.

The 65th minute match winner:

Kylian Mbappe took charge of the game from the left flank and dribbled it past Croatian midfielders in the middle of the park and then shoots the ball with low strike that got past the Croatian defense and ended up as the fourth goal for France in the 65th minute. The score was France 4-1 Croatia after that.

The 69th minute rebirth:

It was certain that Croatia will not let France to lift the world cup so easily and they didn’t give up till the very end. France’s deliberance could have been very well their biggest mistake in this world as Hugo Lloris took longer to the pass the ball to his teammates which saw an aggressive Mario Mandzukic chasing the ball taps it into  the back of the France’s net in the 69th minute.  Croatia had a little glimpse of silver lining but the strong defence line made no mistake in giving away chances to Croatia.

The game ended as France won their second ever world cup with a massive scoreline of France 4-2 Croatia.

Koustav Shaw

It's all about those 90 minutes you get on the ground that determines who you are off the ground. There's a reason why football is the most beautiful sport on earth and I intend to strengthen that.