In the 18th minute, Mandzukic headed the ball into his own net coming from a free-kick that probably shouldn’t have been awarded, in the 28th minute Perisic blasted the equaliser to keep his team in contention, 38th minute saw Griezmann nonchalantly converting a penalty, that referee didn’t see but was awarded after VAR over-rule, to put France again in the front at the end of first half.
The game resumed with Zlatko Dalić’s men pushing the Les Bleus under pressure but Pogba scored in his second attempt with left foot to consolidate France’s lead in 61st minute, but this was not the end, Mbappe in 65th minute with a low strike put France on the brink to lift the World Cup, however the 69th minute had something else written with Mandzukic making a close interception and steering the ball into the net to give Croats hope. But it was not enough and this was it, France beat Croatia to lift the trophy.
France won the World Cup for the second time in their history. Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the tournament as a player and a manager.
The World Cup final was anything but predictable, it saw the first-ever own goal and the first-ever VAR penalty in a World Cup final. Lloris made a howler but was lucky as the French remained in command for the rest of the match.
Croatia’s World Cup journey began with a win over Nigeria before they put on arguably the performance of the tournament with a dismantling of Argentina with a 3-0 victory. The result secured their place in the knockout stage, but they ended their group campaign on a high note with another win over Iceland.
While on the other hand, France’s run to the final began in their opener against Australia. They were underwhelming for the majority of the match, needing a penalty from Antoine Griezmann and a late strike from Paul Pogba to see them past the Socceroos. A Kylian Mbappe strike secured their place in the knockout stage before they played, as some would argue, the worst match of the tournament against Denmark in a goalless draw.