France are World Cup champions after victory in Moscow final

France are World Cup champions after victory in Moscow final
Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup. Photo: AFP
Golden confetti plastered France's victorious World Cup squad in pouring rain at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium as captain Hugo Lloris lifted the FIFA World Cup on Sunday evening.

A Paul Pogba strike and a screamer from Kylian Mbappe in the second half followed a Mario Mandzukic own goal and Antoine Griezmann penalty before the break to give France their second World Cup with a 4-2 win over Croatia.

After withstanding some early Croatian pressure, France struck the first blow when Griezmann's swinging free kick from the right hand side was glanced into the net by Mandzukic on 18 minutes.

But Croatia, the second smallest nation ever to play in a FIFA World Cup final, had the better of the opening stages of the match and looked set to push the French all the way after Perisic's equaliser, a powerful left-footed drive from inside the box after the attacking midfielder collected the ball following a corner.

It was nevertheless France who were in front at the interval. A corner from the right by Griezmann bounced up into Perisic's hand and after initially giving a goal kick, Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana reversed that decision and awarded a penalty – duly converted by Griezmann – after consulting the VAR system.

The Croatians again came out strongly in the second half and looked to attack the France defence but seemed dead on their feet when Pogba buried an opportunity from the edge of the box on 59 minutes. Six minutes later, the French broke forward again and 19-year-old Mbappe, one of the sensations of the tournament, smashed the ball low to goalkeeper Danijel Subasic's right from 20 metres.

Lloris' error reduced Croatia's deficit to two goals with twenty minutes to go but manager Didier Deschamps' team saw out the match to send their supporters in the Luzhniki stadium and all over France into World Cup ecstasy.

READ ALSO: Champions du monde: Photos and videos of World Cup celebrations across France

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