Lionel Messi and Argentina finally won the World Cup on penalties as Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick went in vain on Sunday.
Messi scored a brace and Di Maria also put in one as Argentina had full control of the game until Mbappe powered an incredible comeback from France as the match ended 3-3 after extra time.
Argentina started the brightest of the two sides. In the third minute, a ball from Di Maria had Alvarez on goal, but the resultant shot was easily grabbed by Hugo Lloris.
Alexis MacAllister had a shot at the goal but it was straight at Lloris in the fifth minute. The Albiceleste continued attacking the French goal and De Paul’s shot was deflected by Varane.
It took until the 13th minute for France to get an attack going with Mbappe at the centre of things. But it quickly fizzled out. Argentina continued to be on the front foot and Di Maria had a good chance to get the opener. However, his shot went well over the bar and into the crowd.
France got a freekick outside the box near the left-hand side and Griezmann’s cross was hit by Giroud but went well over. It was deemed as a foul by the French striker on the defender.
Dembele then conceded a penalty in the 21st minute of the game as he tripped Di Maria. Messi stepped up to the spot and made no mistake as he put it to the left of Lloris to give Argentina the deserved lead in the 23rd minute.
The Albicelsete were still in control of the game and were dictating things as France just couldn’t stitch together something useful.
Argentina then scored their second goal after a brilliant team move in the 36th minute as Messi started things up with a pass to Alvarez. The striker then fed the ball to MacAllister who setup Di Maria, whose shot went past Lloris.
France then made a double switch in the 41st minute as Giroud and Dembele were taken off and replaced by Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram as Deschamps looked to find some way back into the contest.
The half ended with Argentina firmly in control with France having a lot to do.
MBAPPE ADDS LIFE TO FINAL
The second half started almost in the same vain as the first one with Argentina looking to get a third goal and kill off the game. De Paul had a volley on goal in the 48th minute but it was easily saved.
France did start to have some control of the ball more and were trying to stitch together, but the Albiceleste stuck to their task and ensured that Martinez in goal had not much work to do.
In the 58th minute, Alvarez had a shot on goal that required Lloris to make a save as Argentina kept on applying the screws. In the 60th minute, Di Maria danced his way into the box as he had Kounde all tied up. He sent the pass to Messi but the effort lacked venom and was easily defended.
In the 62nd minute, Argentina launched an attack into the France box as MacAllister was one-on-one with Lloris. But Upamecano did just enough to unsettle the midfielder as he fell down.
It took 70 minutes for France to get a shot registered as Mbappe’s effort went over the goal.
France were then handed a lifetime in the 79th minute as Nicholas Otamendi brought down Kolo Muani in the box. Mbappe stepped up to the plate and scored his sixth goal of the tournament to give the defending champions a lifeline.
Mbappe would then change the complexion of the game completely in the 81st minute as Coman started the move and Thuram played a delightful one-two with the PSG star, who slotted it past Martinez to make it 2-2.
France was smelling blood at this moment as Mbappe floated in a ball to Kolo Muani who headed wide. Thuram fell down in the box in the 87th minute but he was given a yellow card for diving.
Eight minutes were added on at the end of normal time and Mbappe had a shot deflected for a corner. Frand recycled the ball well and Coman’s menacing run led to a shot which was saved by Martinez.
Messi had an incredible chance from outside the box in the seventh minute of stoppage time which Lloris stopped with a beautiful save. The game was forced into extra time.
Argentina started the first period of extra time on the front foot with Varane having to make a clearance early on.
France would then gain the momentum back and started applying pressure on the Argentinian defence near the box. Scaloni decided to roll the dice and brought on Lautaro Martinez and Leandro Parades for De Paul and Alvarez.
Upamecano then made a match-saving block to deny Martinez, who was fed the ball by Messi inside the box. The Argentine forward was then fed a thorough ball, but Upamecano once again made the block to put off Martinez as the first period of extra time came to an end.
Argentina then started the second period of extra time and got their third as Messi scored after Martinez’ initial shot was saved by Lloris, only for it to fall to the 35-year-old who poked it home in the 108th minute of the match. The ball just cleared the line to send the fans into raptures.
But the joy would be short-lived as Montiel handed the ball inside the box in the 117th minute to give France a penalty. Mbappe then completed his hat-trick to make it 3-3 with just two minutes left.
Mbappe would then almost setup Kolo Muani with a delicious cross with the France forward’s header going just wide. Emi Martinez would then keep Argentina in the game with an incredible one-on-one save from Kolo Muani in the dying moments as we headed into penalties. Messi would then put in a cross for Lautaro who headed it well wide.
COSTLY MISSES IN PENALTIES
Mbappe stepped first for France lashed it home to give them the lead in the penalty shootout. Messi stepped up next for the Albiceleste and he just got it past Lloris to make it 1-1.
Coman came in next but Martinez saved the shot. Dybala stepped up next and scored right through the middle as Lloris had no chance to make it 2-1 in favour of Argentina.
Tchouameni came in next but his shot went well wide as Argentina could see the victory in their sights. Parades made it 3-1 with a well-taken penalty.
Kolo Muani made it 3-2 from the next penalty to increase the tension. Montiel then made it 4-2 to secure the win and become the World Champions for the third time in their history and after 36 years.