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France crowned world champion

Published : Sunday, 15 July, 2018 at 10:57 PM Count : 663

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France beat Croatia by 4-2 goals to win their second World Cup, two decades after their only previous success in the competition.

Didier Deschamps celebrates with his overjoyed players as their fans cut loose in the stands and in the streets and squares of France.

For Croatia, it’s a boulevard of broken dreams, but they can go home with their heads held high. They dominated this match for long periods, putting France under immense pressure. France enjoyed a bit of luck but were ultimately worthy winners. As Dider Deschamps gets the bumps from his players, Antoine Griezmann stands to one side weeping salty tears of joy, the Guardian reports.

France celebrate. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP

France celebrate. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP

This was the highest-scoring final since 1966 and an entertaining climax a wonderful tournament deserved. In 90 high-octane minutes there was a controversial VAR decision, an own goal, record-breaking feats and an underdog pushing a heavyweight to its limit.

CNN adds: A Mario Mandzukic's own goal and a controversial Antoine Griezmann penalty either side of Ivan Perisic's wonderful long-range strike gave France a 2-1 lead at the break.

French president Emmanuel Macron celebrating at the Luzhniki Stadium

French president Emmanuel Macron celebrating at the Luzhniki Stadium

Arguably, France was undeservedly ahead but by the hour Les Bleus scored two further goals, through Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, to put the former champions in command and the result in little doubt.

A dreadful error by captain Hugo Lloris allowed Mandzukic to reduce the deficit in the 69th minute. Croatia went in search of more goals but France, despite nerves creeping in to its play, refused to fold.

Victory means Didier Deschamps becomes the third man to win the World Cup as a player and head coach, following Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer.

Mbappe, aged 19 years and 207 days, is now also the second-youngest player to score in a final after Pele, who scored as a 17-year-old in 1958.

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