Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Outcast Benzema delights in France win

Outcast Benzema delights in France win

Ivan Perisic helped Croatia pull one back with a rasping left-footed strike.

It was the highest-scoring decider since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 60 years ago. The two previous finals were 0-0 after 90 minutes before being settled with a single goal deep into extra time.

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"Of course we know what's happening in France, all the more so after seeing all the images after the Belgium game". Beaten on penalties by Italy in the 2006 final, France's hunger is all the greater after the agony of their defeat as hosts against Portugal in the Euro 2016 final.

If France triumph, Deschamps will become only the third man to win a World Cup as a player and a coach, having captained the side in 1998.

Putin was later on the field to award medals to the players in a ceremony soon drenched in rain and joy. He sent a pass to Griezmann, who then found Pogba at the top of the box. Some are champions at the age of 19.

"We did not play a huge game but we showed mental quality".

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Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead with goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes before Mario Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th.

That meant it was the fourth successive knockout game that Croatia had conceded first but Perisic, who got the equaliser against England, was on hand again to level the scores 10 minutes later, smashing in a low shot after Sime Vrsaljko had headed Luka Modric's free-kick across the box.

There was the VAR decision by the Argentine referee Nestor Pitana for the penalty that might have gone away had he not been called over the review screen. Croatia also include members of the Premier League (1), LaLiga (3), Serie A (4), Ligue 1 (1) and the Bundesliga (1).

Hugo Lloris handed Croatia a lifeline when he tried to take the ball around Mandzukic and the striker read the move and poked the ball into the net.

Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, was born months after France first won its only other World Cup title in 1998. The Croatian striker, the hero with his late victor against England, only got the faintest of touches but it was enough to deflect the ball past Danijel Subasic.

"We are sad but proud at the same time", he said.

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