For the third time in history, the World Cup final was decided by penalty kicks with Argentina taking the title
Lionel Messi earned his World Cup glory by defeating a contesting France squad 3-2 on penalties.
What was perceived as a challenging match for Argentina quickly unravelled to start as a blowout at Lusail’s Stadium, filled with 88,966 fans, mainly from the South American country.
After winning a corner on the right side, Messi sends it in but misses the Hugo Lloris box in the 11th minute.
With Angel Di Maria starting, the midfielder finds an opportunity but misses it as he shoots the ball over the net.
Yet the 34-year-old footballer would have another chance as he attacked the box before being struck down by Ousmane Dembele.
A penalty is called, bringing Messi to secure a golden opportunity at the game. He evidently becomes the first player to score in the group stage, the round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final, and final in a single edition of the World Cup.
Messi led his country 1-0 in the 23rd minute, with Di Maria securing another goal minutes later as he knocked the ball to the left side of the net.
The advantage puts Argentina in domination mode as France struggled to keep up with the motivated squad.
Before halftime, Didier Deschamps makes a surprising substitution, taking Olivier Giroud and Dembele off the pitch for Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani in the 43rd minute.
At halftime, it was clear that France needed answers as Kylian Mbappe performed unclogged in the match.
59.3% of possession was given to South Americans, with three shots on target and seven crosses, while France held eight interceptions and zero shots on target.
Di Maria’s goal was the 48th of the knockout stages, a new record at the FIFA tournament.
The second half kicks off with France running out of time to make it count at the Final World Cup.
The French finally find their luck as Lloris stops a running ball into the box from Mac Allister in the 65th minute.
Mere minutes later, Di Maria’s fantastic night comes to a close as he is subbed off for Marcos Acuna, bringing a renewed chance for Argentina.
France makes another startling substitute as Deschamps brings off Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez for Kingsley Coman and Eduardo Camavinga.
The French squad seemed to find their line at the pitch, creating several attacks with a penalty being awarded as Nicolas Otamendi brought down Kolo Muani inside the box.
Mbappe makes it count, pushing France into a fair fight, and does it again as he thunders in a right-footed shot from the left side of the box in the 80th minute.
2-2, France looked to finish the game with another goal as Argentina lacked consistency in the attack and defending line.
The match enters extra time, with both teams going head to head yet being absent of securing a goal in the tight game.
In the Second Half, Extra Time, Messi’s right-footed shot from very close range makes it count in a tight VAR check in the 107th minute.
Ten minutes later, a penalty is awarded as Montiel’s handball touches Mbappe’s shot from outside the box.
Man, for his country, Mbappe does it again, bringing the game to a 3-3 match.
The match enters penalties, with Argentina and Messi overcoming France to win the World Cup final in the penalties 4-2.