Overnight France beat Croatia 4-2 to secure the FIFA World Cup for the next four years. The French have been building nicely and winning comfortably throughout the knockout stages while Croatia have struggled through three regulation-time draws, despite having the softer path to the final. In the end exhaustion caught up with them, and France secured its second World Cup title.
Croatia started the match with a flurry of attacking flair, seemingly desperate to score early points before their three 120-minute games leading up to final caught up to them. France, however, found themselves awarded a free kick to Antoine Griezmann close to the box, and the ball deflected off the head of semi-final hero Mario Mandzukic for an own-goal against the run of play.
Croatia swiftly struck back, rewarded for their attacking efforts after Ivan Perisic scored from the play after a poor free kick from Luke Modric. An accidental handball from Perisic then saw Griezmann take another free kick, which he scored without any help from Croatia. France beat Croatia 2-1 in the first half despite only having 40% possession, and Croatia were looking tired.
Croatia again tried to blitz France to start the second half, interrupted only by a brief pitch invasion. The French defence again stood firm, before a counter-attack from Paul Pogba resulted in him scoring his team’s third. Kylian Mbappe added insult to injury, shooting a fourth past the tired Croatian defence and goalkeeper.
Hugo Lloris then made an absolute mess of a completely normal play, with the French kicking the ball back to the keeper. Mandzukic, who can never be accused of giving up, chased the pass which inspired Lloris to try and dodge him to gain more time. The kick from the French captain and keeper went straight to Mandzukic, who slammed it into the net to give his country a glimmer of hope.
The French then played very defensive football, secure in their 2 goal lead, and strangled the Croatians out of any hope of recovery. In the end France beat Croatia 4-2, and secured the title of best team in the world.