MOSCOW, July 15, 2018 - Players of France celebrate at the awarding ceremony after the 2018 FIFA World Cup final match between France and Croatia in Moscow, Russia, July 15, 2018. France defeated Croatia 4-2 and claimed the title. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua/IANS(Photo:Xinhua)

Moscow, July 15 : France scored twice in each half as they thumped a combative Croatia 4-2 in a dramatic final to win the FIFA World Cup for the second time in 20 years here on Sunday.

A first-ever own goal in a World Cup final gave France the lead as Mario Mandzukic headed a free-kick into his own net in the 18th minute but Croatia pulled level through a strike from Ivan Perisic in the 28th minute.

Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty in the 38th minute to regain France's lead which was further increased to 3-1 by Paul Pogba in the 59th minute.

Kylian Mbappe (65th) made it 4-1 before Mandzukic pounced on a blunder from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to reduce the difference to two in the 69th minute, giving some hope to Croatia. But the third goal from Croatia never arrived as the talented French side sealed a deserving triumph.

 

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