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France win World Cup with victory over Croatia

RUSSIA 2018: France are World Cup winners

RUSSIA 2018: France are World Cup winners

France have won the FIFA World Cup after a thrilling 4-2 victory over Croatia in Moscow.

In one of the most exciting finals in recent history, Croatia started superbly and were unfortunate to go behind when Mario Mandzukic headed into his own goal from a wicked free-kick delivery from Antoine Griezmann.

It was a somewhat controversial opener, with the Croatian players suggesting Griezmann went down too easily under a challenge from Marcelo Brozovic to win the free-kick.

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Ivan Perisic scored a brilliant equaliser, controlling with his right before unleashing a powerful left-footed strike that flicked off Raphael Varane and flew past Hugo Lloris.

But 10 minutes later, they were behind again.

If France’s first goal was controversial, their second was perhaps even more so. Ivan Perisic was adjudged to have handled in the area after a lengthy delay while VAR was consulted. It looked neither clear or deliberate, but referee Nestor Pitana pointed to the spot and Griezmann scored emphatically. 

Paul Pogba extended France’s lead in the second half with a fine 20-yard strike. His first effort, right-footed, was blocked, but he made no mistake the second time with his left, producing a powerful shot that gave Danijel Subasic no chance. It was a goal worthy of such a grand stage.

And Kylian Mbappe made it four with a long-range effort, becoming the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score in a World Cup final.

Mandzukic cut the arrears when he capitalised on Lloris’ error but France held firm to secure the win.

It’s the second time France have won the trophy - their first coming on home soil in 1998 - and they are now the sixth nation to win the prize more than once. 

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