France Win The World Cup After Beating Croatia
France won the World Cup for just the second time, and first time away from home, after beating Croatia in the final thanks to a controversial penalty given by VAR and some brilliant goals.
Goals from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, as well as a Mario Mandzukic's own goal gave France a 4-2 win over Croatia who scored through Ivan Perisic and Mandzukic.
World Cup finals can often be tentative affairs and the previous two have been decided by single goals, both scored in extra time, but like the whole tournament 2018 didn't want to follow that path.
Most people wouldn't have expected Croatia to be in the World Cup final but they started the match as the better side as their midfield of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozović dominating play.
However it was France who opened the scoring. Antoine Griezmann was brought down by Brozovic 30 yards out from goal and the Atletico Madrid forward got up to take the free kick. His floated ball was nodded on by Mario Mandzukic as the Croatian headed past his own keeper to make it 1-0 after 18 minutes.
It took the Croats just 10 minutes to be level. A free kick was headed back across the box and Ivan Perisic took a brilliant touch before firing past Hugo Lloris in the France goal.
France were back ahead before half-time though thanks to VAR. A corner went off Perisic and back behind the goal but the referee was soon checking with the extra officials, in part thanks to French protests.
The video showed that his arm had come down and hit the ball behind and the ref adjudged that it was deliberate before Griezmann scored from the spot.
Paul Pogba nearly on the hour mark. His perfect pass found the run of Kylian Mbappe and the PSG forward raced into the box before playing it back to Pogba inside the area as the Manchester United forward smashed it home.
Mbappe then looked to put the game beyond Croatia as he swept the ball home from outside the area to become the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele.
But the game soon wasn't over. In the 69th minute, nice, Huge Lloris made a monumental mistake on the Lloris Karius scale of mistakes in major finals.
Samuel Umtiti played the ball back to Lloris from around the halfway line and there seemed to be little danger as the Spurs keeper took a touch to get the ball out of his feet but as he took a second touch back across himself he past the ball straight to Mandzukic who stuck a leg out and placed the ball in the net.
France didn't sparkle in the Group Stage but still topped Group C ahead of Denmark, Peru and Australia and built into the tournament beautifully.
They beat Argentina 4-3 in the last 16 in a brilliant game. In the quarters they got past Uruguay in a 2-0 win and the semi-final was a 1-0 win over Belgium thanks to Samuel Umtiti's goal.
Didier Deschamps side are worthy winners of the World Cup and they'll be extremely relieved after losing the final of the Euros two years ago on home soil.