Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2022. 12:25 pm CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Argentina are the World Champions. Lionel Messi and company beat 2018 Champions France 4-2 in penalty kicks after a 3-3 extra tie draw.
The shootout started with Kylian Mbappé scoring and Messi responding in kind.
- Next, goalkeeper Damián Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez denied Kingsley Coman guessing right as Coman went to the left.
Paulo Dybala put Argentina ahead 2-1 before Aurelien Tchouameni went wide to the left.
Leandro Paredes stepped up with a powerful low shot beating goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who guessed right but couldn’t get to the ball. Argentina up 3-1.
Kolo Muani scored, sending Martínez the wrong way.
The World Cup was up to Gonzalo Montiel who went low to the left, Lloris went the other way. 4-2 … Argentina went wild and celebrated winning their third World Cup.
The Final was highly intense from the first whistle with Argentina setting a frenetic pace that France couldn’t challenge until the last 15 minutes of the second half. Mbappé hit a brace and forced extra time.
Lionel Messi put Argentina 3-2 over France in the 109th minute on a superb goal at the 90,000 strong Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen, Qatar.
The game tied at 2-2, Lautaro Martinez hammered Hugo Lloris. The rebound was picked up by Messi within the goal area, hammering the ball. It was pulled back by a defender but the ball had crossed the goal line. 3-2 Argentina.
But a foul by Montiel gave Mbappé the opportunity to complete his hat trick which he did with the penalty kick in the 118th minute to tie the World Cup Final at 3-3 forcing the penalty kicks.
In the 90 minutes, France tied the match they were losing 2-0 in a minute on two Kylian Mbappé goals in the 81st and 82nd minutes.
The first French goal came from a penalty kick after Enzo Fernández fouled Kolo Muani in 79th minute. The second came from a piercing attack that left Mbappé alone on the left side of the penalty area.
Down 2-0, France made two offensive changes, sending in Theo Hernandez and Eduardo Camavinga for Antoine Griezmann and Kingsley Coman in the 71st minute.
Argentina had subbed Angel Di Maria, who had been instrumental in scoring a goal and provoking a penalty kick, in the 64th minute. Marcos Acuña entered in Di Maria’s place.
Before that, Argentina were extremely dominant over France leading 2-0 at the Lusail Stadium in Al Daayen, Qatar.
Such was the Argentine dominance that coach Didier Deschamps made two first half changes in the 41st minute subbing Olivier Giroud with Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembele with Randal Kolo Muani.
Argentina started the match on a high intensity drive which overran the French defence, attacking particularly on the left wing where Angel Di Maria controlled the pace. France’s first push didn’t come until the 15th minute but they didn’t make a direct shot until the second half.
Lionel Messi scored the opener on a skillfully executed penalty kick in 23rd minute after Ousmane Dembele pushed down Di Maria from behind in the penalty area in the 21st minute.
Then, Di Maria himself scored in the 36th minute. Lionel Messi made a no-look pass to Alexis Mac Allister who cut into the penalty area and crossed to the left side to Di Maria. The left winger then basted the ball into the net past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for the 2-0 lead.
In the end, Messi will lift the World Cup for the first time while Argentina win it for a third time after 1978 in Buenos Aires and 1986 in Mexico City.
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