A rampant France clinched their second World Cup title with a 4-2 victory in the Russia 2018 final over plucky underdogs Croatia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in a match that saw class and controversy in equal measure.
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It was Les Blues who opened the scoring when Antoine Griezmann’s 18th minute free kick to the back post was guided into his own net by a rising Mario Mandzukic, the man who scored the goal to get Croatia into the final match.
Ten minutes later and Croatia were level when the reliable Ivan Perisic slotted home from just inside the box. A Griezmann penalty given through a VAR decision ensured France went into the break ahead.
The second half saw two screamers in quick succession from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe that both cued celebrations from the bench, before a nightmare blunder from Hugo Lloris allowed Mandzukic to redeem his earlier error.
France were to prevail by a scoreline that in the end flattered to deceive, to win their second World Cup trophy in 20 years since their maiden win at their home tournament at France ‘98 and avenging their defeat for their 2006 defeat to Italy. For Croatia, there was to be no fairytale ending for one of the World Cup’s most unlikely stories.