Argentina wins their third title after dethroning Mbappe-inspired France

Argentina wins their third title after dethroning Mbappe-inspired France
Lionel Messi's dream of winning the FIFA World Cup finally materialised on Sunday at Lusail Stadium with Argentina surviving a few anxious moments to register a fighting 4-2 penalty shoot win over defending champions France.
At the end of the full-time play the teams were locked two all and both the teams added a goal apiece in the extra time to make it three all and take the title clash into a penalty shoot-out.
In the tie-breaker, Kylan Mbappe opened the scoring for France but the subsequent kicks found the French players failing to beat Martinez in the Argentinian goal, one being saved by the keeper and one off the mark.
Although Kolo Mani scored for France it was not enough as their rivals were successful in all four kicks.
For Argentina, Messi scored first followed by his three teammates to give their captain a perfect farewell present as the 35-year-old has said the Qatar World Cup will be his last one.
With the pre-match talk centring around Mbappe and Messi and their big role in the final and they did not disappoint -- Mbappe scored a hattrick while Messi scored two goals in the match.
Six goals, three from the penalty spot and a lot of extra time drama kept the nearly 90,000 fans on their toes and took the match into a penalty shoot-out.
Messi scored a goal in the 109th minute to give Argentina the lead for the second time in the match but Mbappe scored his third and the second with a spot-kick in the 118th minute to tie the scores at three-all.
The final saw two different aspects of the defending champion's game. In the first half, they were literally passengers while they roared back to match their rivals late in the second half.
It also saw both teams opening the scoring from the penalty spot and both the key man for their respective teams making no mistakes to slam home from the 12-yard distance.
Argentina went into the lead in the 23rd minute through Messi and added a second one through Angel Di Maria to go into half-time leading 2 -0.
The Les Blues bounced back to draw level and fired their first goal adding a second one with Mbappe netting both goals in the 80th and 88th minute.
Argentina, returning to the same stadium where they began their tournament campaign and suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, were not the same side to the Asian side.
Source: IANS