France celebrated their second World Cup win 20 years after their maiden triumph yesterday, overcoming a passionate Croatia side 4-2 in one of the most gripping finals in recent history.
The breathless victory under stormy skies at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium means Didier Deschamps’ side — balancing youthful zest and tournament nous — have buried the pain of their defeat in the Euro 2016 final on home soil.
For Croatia, a country of just over four million people, the loss spells bitter pain, but their fans celebrated the best run in the nation’s history, which featured a stunning win against Argentina and a semi-final victory against England.
Croatia started the match strongly but an own goal from Mario Mandzukic and a controversial VAR-assisted penalty from Antoine Griezmann following an Ivan Perisic leveller gave France a 2-1 half-time lead.
Further strikes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe gave France a comfortable cushion before a late consolation from Mandzukic after an error by French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
France Captain Lloris lifted the World Cup trophy as torrential rain cascaded down in the Russian capital.
Deschamps, thrown into the air by his ecstatic players as they celebrated their win, said the victory was “just as big and just as beautiful” as the 1998 triumph in France.
Source: Jamaica Observer