World Cup Final Review: Fabulous France Clinch The Crown As Headstrong Croatians Go Down Fighting!

A World Cup of surprise and revelation, in contrary, got the most obvious conclusion when favourites France knock down a headstrong Croatia in the epic final encounter. The Croats dominated the show, but the star-studded Les Bleus clinched a 4-2 triumph banking on sheer experience and a little bit of luck. 

Upbeat Croatia started the game more lively and kept on testing France’s defensive resilience. Both Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti showed enough composure in deep defence and kept on nullifying the attacking threats posed by their opponents. But the 1998 Champions and 2006 runners-up were handed a massive boost when Antoine Griezmann earned a ‘soft’ freekick following little contact with Marcelo Brozovic.

The Atletico Madrid sensation floated it inside the box which ended up into the back of the net following an accidental flick of Croats’ forward Mario Mandzukic. But they responded sharply when an exquisite strike of Ivan Perisic drew the level ten minutes later, however, the lead was restored once again late in the first-half when Griezmann converted a controversial spot-kick. The ball hit Perisic’s hand from a corner inside the box which not at all looked like a deliberate attempt at handling. The referee reviewed it through VAR and pointed towards the spot. The first-half, thus, ended 2-1 in favour of France.

Croatia, understandably, looked more desperate after the break to level the scoreline whereas the leaders sit back deep to protect the lead with an objective to hit back on the counter. The plan was executed perfectly when two goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in quick succession almost sealed the deal for the 2016 UEFA Euro runners-up.

Although skipper Hugo Lloris made a howler in goal that allowed Mandzukic to decrease the deficit, Croatia failed to script a miracle and come back in contention. Didier Deschamps, the France chief, had a heartbreaking outcome in the Euro final against Portugal a couple of years back, but they have now achieved a greater glory and replicated the success story of their golden generation who last claimed the silverware 20 years back.

Croatia vs France Lineups:

Croatia: Danijel Subasic, Sime Vrsalijko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic (Marko Pjaca 81′), Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic (Andrej Kramaric 71′), Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Mario Mandzukic.

France: Huglo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, N’Golo Kante (Steven N’Zonzi 55′), Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi (Corentin Tolisso 73′), Olivier Giroud (Nabil Fekir 81′).

France vs Croatia Match Stats:

 

France

Croatia

Final Score

 4

2

Possession

34%

66%

Shots (on Target)

 7(6)

14(4)

Pass Accuracy

 68%

83%

Offisides

 1

1

Corners

 2

6

Fouls (Bookings)

13(2)

13(1)

 

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Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

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