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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

For second time, France are World Cup Champions

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By Caleb Okpo, who monitored in Abuja.
For millions of football fans around the world, the World Cup is the ultimate competition to watch and there has never been a dull moment in this edition.
Right from the group stages, it was surprise galore. Germany, defending champions, crashed out; and Russia, which had the lowest ranking of all the teams, advanced to the quarter finals against all odds.
Highly rated Argentina with Lionel Messi, Portugal with Christian Ronaldo, easily the world’s best two players went home early, against bookmakers predictions.
France and Croatia both started this World Cup strong with France finishing top of Group C with 7 points after winning two matches and drawing 1 and Croatia also finishing top of Group D after winning all their group matches and conceding just one goal from Iceland.
Although France never had to go into extra time during their journey in this world unlike Croatia who had to proceed from the Round of 16 and quarter finals stages after playing penalty shoot outs and also had to go into extra time in their semi-final match against England the two teams had proven that they had what it takes to be in a World Cup final.
The last three finals before this all proceeded into extra time but this final between France and Croatia was full of goals three goals were scored in the first half with Mandzukic scoring the first goal, an own goal, after guiding the ball into the top corner of his own net from Griezmann’s free kick in the 18th minute.
Perisic equalised in the 27th minute with a blistering left footer.
Griezmann went on to score a penalty in the 37th minute after there was contact between Perisic’s arm and the ball. The Video Assisrant Referee (VAR) was used for the first time in a World Cup final by the Centre Referee.
In the second half three goals were scored, with Pogba scoring for France in the 58th minute, teenager Mbappe in the 64th minute from a distant shot outside of the 18 yards box.
Croatia’s Mandzukic capitalised on a careless mistake by French goalkeeper, Iloris, scoring in the 68th minute.
For the second time in its football history France are the champions of the world, winning it the first Time in 1998.
For them, this is redemption after losing the European Cup two years ago.
For Croatia, the defeat may have been painful, but it was historic to win the Silver.
Didier Deschampes also becomes the third man to win the tournament as a player and a manager. The others were Mario Zagalo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer.of Germany.
Other awards that where given after the finals are as follows:
Luka Modric – Golden Ball
Harry Kane – Golden Boot
Thibaut Courtois – Golden Glove
Mbappe – Best young player of the tournament.
 
Spain won the fair play trophy.
Earlier on Saturday, the team from Belgium made their own history by winning the third place match, defeating England by two unreplied goals.

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