The World Cup Final
Two teams out of thirty-two survived to live a long childhood dream of winning the World Cup, but the only one can prevail. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the players could have slept the previous night due to the excitement and adrenaline they were undergoing. Walking down the tunnel to see a sold-out stadium as well as billions of people watching at home and the majestically World Cup trophy right in front of you, but don’t touch it though because it’s theorized to bring bad luck to any player who touches it before the game. The national anthems were bringing out goosebumps as both players and fans singing it like if it’s their last showing passion and pride to their country hoping at the end it’s their country who holds the World Cup. Now, the wait is over and the referee blows the whistle for the start of the game as Croatia was looking like the better side for the first 15 minutes keeping most of the possession as well as creating more of the chances.
However, foul from a dangerous spot led to the first goal for the French. Griezmann curled the cross trying to find a deflection off anyone that eventually found Mandzukic head who obviously tried to clear it but went to his own net. Down 1-0 Croatia did what they have been doing all tournament and equalize with Perisic rocket from his left foot that also took a deflection off Varane making it 1-1. At this point, people started to believe that Croatia can do the impossible and might actually have a chance at winning this game. Locked at 1 to 1 the tensions were high as both teams were hoping to find a second before halftime but playing it safe and not risking it by not pushing a lot of players forward. However, it was France who found the second with VAR (Video Assistant Referee) call that showed a deflection header from Kante lead to a handball from Perisic and the referee looked at the penalty spot. Antoine Griezmann was the man who stepped up to take the shot from 12 steps where he buries it making the goalkeeper go the other way and runs down the corner to do his famous fortnite celebration. Coming into second half Croatia needed another goal to equalize, but the French defense was holding down their fort like we have seen all tournament France can play at all angles looking real comfortable defending. While Croatia was looking for their second it was France who got their third after some terrific solo play from Kylian Mbappe alongside the line that lead to Griezmann to lay it off to Paul Pogba where his first shot was blocked by the defender, but got a second chance where he curled around the defender scoring an absolute beauty of a goal. The French bench erupted as Pogba ran to the corner to celebrate and was met by his teammates. France was leading 3-1 in the 59th minute and seemed like the Cinderella story was hitting 12 o’clock as Croatia didn’t seem to have an answer for their 2 goal deficit. Things will get worse 5 minutes later as Mbappe gets the keeper wrong-footed from a shot outside the box making 4-1 and the French dream of becoming World Champs started to become reality. However, things didn’t end there as Hugo Lloris made a terrible mistake while receiving a back pass from a French defender holding the ball for too long and got pressured from Mandzukic that lead him to make a fancy pass getting blocked ending up in the back of the net. Croatia was desperate into the last 20 minutes pushing players forward, but couldn’t find an answer to France’s excellent defense, hard-working midfield, and great goalkeeping. The final whistle blew, Les Bleus, after 20 years of wait and deceptions are finally “Champions du Monde! Winning the World Cup is not just the victory of a team, it’s the victory of the whole nation: France.
Vive Les Bleus, Vive la France!:
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