World Cupdate: Allez Les Blues; France Wins World Cup

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via @AFP_Sport

Welcome to your daily 2018 FIFA World Cup update, or World Cupdate, where we recap the past day’s proceedings from Russia while previewing what is still to come. These features will run every morning throughout the duration of the tournament and feature highlights, major news, and much more from Russia.


Here’s What Happened: Sunday, July 15th

Four weeks of football led us back to where it all began, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final. Like all Finals that preceded it, this year provided the opportunity for history to be made regardless of who won the match. France and Croatia delivered fans a show when it mattered most and will go down as one of the greatest Finals in World Cup history.

France 4-2 Croatia

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via @FOXSports

Drama headlined the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Sunday’s Final served as the perfect end to the tournament when France and Croatia squared off in Moscow to determine a champion.

What can often be a cagey match due to teams not wanting to make a mistake was anything but as both sides but on an absolute show for all 90 minutes. Keeping with the theme of this tournament, an own goal opened the scoring to put France in front early. That was just a sign of things to come as the game opened up from that point on.

Croatia dominated early and found an equalizer but France were right back in front after Antoine Griezmann converted a VAR awarded penalty for a 2-1 halftime advantage.

France’s talent and relative fresh legs made a major impact in the second half when Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé scored just six minutes apart to push France in front 4-1 and all but seal the game and title for their country. Croatia were able to pull one back off a howler by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but it was not nearly enough as France locked down on defense to close out the game.

The victory gives France its second World Cup title in its history and joins an exclusive group of nations to win multiple FIFA World Cup titles. On the other side, it was obviously not the way Croatia hoped to end its dream run but will still return home as heroes with the best finish ever for the nation at a World Cup.

Goals

  • Mario Mandzukic | FRA (18′ OG)
  • Ivan Perisic | CRO (28′)
  • Antoine Griezmann | FRA (38′ PEN)
  • Paul Pogba | FRA (59′)
  • Kylian Mbappé | FRA (65′)
  • Mario Mandzukic | CRO (69′)

Highlights

With that, the 2018 FIFA World Cup has come to an end with France sitting on top of the football world. This Final served as the perfect end to a tournament filled with drama and the unexpected. Before you know it, we’ll be back at it again in four years when the world comes together for the beautiful game.


Goals of the Day

Often times, the World Cup Final can be a cagey match with little scoring. That was not the case this year as France and Croatia combined for six goals in an absolute thrilling 90 minutes of football. Here’s the three best from one of the best Finals in recent memory.

Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

Down 1-0 from an own goal, Croatia kept up the pressure and were rewarded with an equalizer off this screamer by Ivan Perisic that gave Hugo Lloris no chance of saving.

Paul Pogba (France)

Quietly one of the best players at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Paul Pogba silenced the critics over the course of his time in Russia and put the cherry on top with this strike that turned out to be the World Cup winning goal.

Kylian Mbappé (France)

The coming out party for Kylian Mbappé at this World Cup was capped off in the Final with this strike in the second half that put France up 4-1 and all but sealed the title for France.

Sunday’s Final provided with perhaps the best action of the knockout rounds and served as the perfect end to what was a wild World Cup tournament.


Final Bracket

One final look at the World Cup bracket with France being crowned champions.

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via @FOXSports

After a chaotic group stage portion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the knockout rounds had a high bar to live up to and in many ways they surpassed the drama of the group stage with a stirring performance by all teams involved.


World Cup Awards

The end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup means it is time to hand out some individual awards to reward great performances over the last month of competition. Winning the title may be the ultimate goal but these players earned these awards with great personal efforts during the tournament.

Golden Ball (Best Player)

Luka Modric (Croatia)

Golden Boot (Top Goalscorer)

Harry Kane (England); 6 goals

Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper)

Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

Best Young Player

Kylian Mbappé (France)

Other Awards

Silver Ball (Second best player): Eden Hazard (Belgium)

Bronze Ball (Third best player): Antoine Griezmann (France)

Silver Boot (Second leading goalscorer): Antoine Griezmann (France); 4 goals, 2 assists

Bronze Boot (Third leading goalscorer): Romelu Lukaku (Belgium); 4 goals, 1 assist


Here’s What’s Next: Looking Ahead

Just because this World Cup has come to a close that does not mean we cannot look ahead to what the future of international football has in store for fans. Future schedules are already with many great international competitions worth your time. Here’s a brief look at what’s coming up down the road in the football world.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Location: France

Dates: June 7, 2019 – July 7, 2019

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via starsandstripesfc.com

France may very well still be celebrating the men’s World Cup victory when they welcome the women to the country next year for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Location: United States

Dates: June 18, 2019 – July 18, 2019

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The 2019 CONCACAF will mark the first major competition for the United States Men’s National Team since missing out on the 2018 World Cup. This tournament should serve as a good litmus test for the new generation of American talent before 2022 World Cup qualifying begins.

2020 European Championship

Location: Europe

Dates: June 12, 2020 – July 12, 2020

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via UEFA.com

For the first time, UEFA’s continental championship will be held across several different host cities all over the continent with the Final being hosted at Wembley Stadium in London.

2022 FIFA World Cup

Location: Qatar

Dates: November 21, 2022 – December 18, 2022

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Perhaps the most controversial World Cup ever, Qatar will play host to the world in a winter World Cup to compensate for the oppressive summer heat of the Middle East.

2026 FIFA World Cup

Location: North America (Canada, Mexico, United States)

Dates: Summer 2026

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The World Cup returns to United States soil when the country will be the main host of the 2026 tournament. This will be the first time the tournament features a 48 team field, expanding from the normal 32 teams.


This brings to an end our daily World Cupdate features highlights all the action from the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Stay tuned this week for our full recap of the tournament with a look back at all the action from the group stage through the Final as France triumphs in Russia to win the World Cup.

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