We have anticipated the conclusion of the world’s largest and most prestigious football pow-wow known as FIFA World Cup for a while now. The results are not surprising insofar as France is the winner. But they are rather staggering given the final results of the race. We take a look at what transpired in Moscow on July 15.
The Game Kicks Off at a High Pace
And so the setting was set. France and Croatia faced off in the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Both teams were quite satisfied with their prospects of winning a notable place in the soccer community. In fact, they have already done it.
Whatever the outcome of the final match would be, fans were sure that it would be a close race that will have the teams compete neck-and-neck. But this is not what transpired on the stadium in Moscow that day. No, France took an early lead with an auto-goal of a Croatian defender, Mario Mandzukic who felt the shame and tacit reproaches fell upon him.
In honesty, though, Mr Mandzukic was hardly to blame as the ball was a ricochet and he had honestly been trying to divert it outside of Croatia’s goal. Slightly dispirited, the Croatian continued to press the attack, leading to a first goal for them scored by Ivan Perisic.
Later, in the 38 minute, Antoine Griezmann managed a penalty shot which landed in Croatia’s door for 2-1. To be honest, the penalty ruling was unfair. The ball had been another ricochet, jumping off a defender’s leg into his arm. And while in mid-air, it’s difficult to be jumping with your hands next to your body.
Ruin was upon Croatia, and things didn’t get any better when in the 59 minutes Paul Pogba scored once again. Shortly after in the 65 minute France managed to breach the defenses of the opponents again and a goal was scored by Kylian Mbappé for the devastating 4-1.
Croatia managed to find its feet and reciprocated with a volley into the enemy’s goal scored by Mario Mandzukic in the 69 minute. For a brief moment, Croatia saw that they are able to get back on track, but as the game ticked on, Croatia’s footballers slowly began weary as they had had difficult games before that.
A Deserved Victory by All Counts
France’s victory was very much deserved, but the 2018 FIFA World Cup was not as contested as fans could have hoped for. With the prices of the tickets soaring up to $4,000 a seat, Croatia’s disappointment was quite pricey indeed. Even then, the small Balkan nation kept appearances and their fans continued to support the team after the defeat.
In the country’s defense, Croatia had extended 130-minute games and penalty shots in two of their previous games that made it nearly impossible for the footballers to be in their best athletic form. Nevertheless, they managed to demonstrate qualities which may not have brought them the World Cup Trophy, but they won them our admiration.