Sunday, 16 December, 2018

France vs. Croatia - Football Match Report

Fifa Name Referee For France-Croatia World Cup Final World Cup Finals 2018: How to Watch France vs Croatia
Freda Brock | 15 July, 2018, 21:42

If France triumph, Deschamps will become only the third man to win a World Cup as a player and a coach, having captained the side in 1998.

After France lost the 2016 European Championship final on home soil in agonizing fashion, largely the same team has bounced back to secure World Cup glory. Across the board, France probably has some of the more dynamic personalities, but I'm going to go with Croatia.

Quickfire strikes by Pogba and Mbappe midway through the second half put France in charge before Mandzukic was gifted a goal by keeper Hugo Lloris to set up a nervous last 20 minutes.

Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the World Cup 2018 here. Croatia have brought joy to their Balkan nation of just four million people by defying the odds to progress to the final while reigning champions Germany, then Argentina and Brazil all fell by the wayside in Russian Federation. Yet Croatia swept all three teams by a combined score of 7-1, allowing only a single goal in three matches.

It took only another six minutes for Mbappe to wreak havoc again, firing past the hapless Subasic to make it four and give France a cushion to soften the blow dealt by Lloris' subsequent moment of madness as the clock ticked down to immortality.

Nicky Butt: Everyone at Man Utd proud of Pogba
Pogba continued: "I know that sometimes you are doing good, sometimes you are doing bad, but that's how you grow". There is a star on my jersey but I did not win it, so I want mine, like the other players.

France beat Belgium 1-0 last Tuesday, and Croatia topped England 2-1 the next day, with a goal in extra time giving Croatia the edge. Croatia certainly felt hard done by but they had ample time to recover because, incredibly, it was still only halftime. Olivier Giroud has not had a great tournament in terms of goals but he should keep his place in the lineup as the other two forwards thrive thanks to his presence keeping the centre-backs busy. There is a reason why no team has ever taken this path to the final before - there is only so many miles men can run before they collapse.

However, France's nerves were settled minutes later as Antoine Griezmann's free kick was flicked into his own net by Mandzukic. The midfielder's right-footed shot was blocked but he coolly curved the rebound in with his left.

"It does not matter if we do not see the screen, we have our phones, we have water and we are together - that's what's important, everyone here has so much desire for victory".

"I don't know where I am, I am really happy", he said as his team mates danced around him in celebration.

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