France defeat Croatia to lift 2018 World Cup, coach reacts


France on Sunday defeated Croatia 4-2 to lift the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, making it the second time Les Bleus second title after winning the first as host in 1998.

The clash was an entertaining final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in what was a fitting end to an outstanding tournament in Russia.

As the 2018 World Cup in Russia came to an end, Croatia emerged second while Belgium beat England 2-0 to win the third place

France’s first goal came from Antoine Griezmann’s free kick from the right flank and was nodded into Croatia net for an own goal by Mario Mandzukic.

After the interval, France increased their lead through Paul Pogba, whose performances in the tournament deserved a goal in its final.

Quick fire strikes by Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe midway through the second half put France on course for the title but Mandzukic was gifted a goal by French keeper, Hugo Lloris, to set up a nervous last 20 minutes.

France, however, withstood a spirited Croatia assault to lift the trophy for the second time, following their success on home soil 20 years ago, and ensure there was no repeat of two years ago when they were beaten in the European Championship final by Portugal in Paris.

Reacting, France coach, Didier Deschamps, who is the third man in history to win the World Cup as a player and a head coach, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, hailed his squad’s mental quality.

Speaking in his post match interview, Deschamps said, “How marvelous! It’s a young team, who are on the top of the world. Some are champions at the age of 19.

“We did not play a huge game but we showed mental quality. And we scored four goals anyway. They deserved to win.

“The group worked so hard and we had some tough moments along the way. It hurt so much to lose the Euro two years ago, but it made us learn too.

“The win is not about me, it’s the players who won the game. For 55 days, we have done a lot of work. It is the supreme coronation. We are proud to be French, to be Blues. The victory in the match belongs to them. Vive le Republic.”

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