A youthful France faces veteran-laden Croatia for Word Cup

Matthias Hangst  Getty Images

Matthias Hangst Getty Images

The first match was the most momentous - a 2-1 win for France in the 1998 World Cup semifinals at Stade de France outside Paris.

Paul Pogba, who has stepped out of the shadow of his Manchester United imposter in Russian Federation to boss the midfield alongside N'Golo Kante, beat Subasic with a long-range effort in the 59th minute. He sent a pass to Griezmann, who then found Pogba at the top of the box.

The third goal was scored in the 59th minute by Pogba, who picked up the original initial shot was blocked, although the second chance was steered gracefully into the net.

Amidst the Parisian next-gen pair's fine goals and Ivan Perisic's thunderbolt, there was a first own goal in 21 finals, a VAR-confirmed penalty and a goalkeeping blunder which handed Croatia a late lifeline.

Deschamps could become only the third man after Brazilian Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer to win the WC as both a player and coach. Only 19, the PSG forward has proven over the last two seasons that he's the real deal and hasn't looked at all phased by playing on soccer's biggest stage. "That's the aim and that's the mentality we've been using while preparing for this game".

"I think that our team is quite calm". We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Croatia started full of energy but went behind in the 18th minute when a Griezmann free kick skidded in off the head of Mandzukic, who scored the extra-time victor against England in the semi-final.

Croatia's keeper Danijel Subasic will be in all green, whilst France's keeper will wear all yellow. "We played well but the penalty knocked the wind out of us and after that it was very hard", said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic.

France's national team defeated the Belgian squad 1-0 to reach the finals.

As Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic correctly summarised, "in a World Cup [final], you do not give such a penalty". 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.

"Today we did not do everything right but have those mental and psychological qualities which were decisive - and we did score four goals". And many of them took to Twitter to express their happiness if their team won.

This was also the highest scoring final in regular time since Sweden 1958's finale.

Latest News