Argentina crowned champions after beating France 4-2 on penalties, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Argentina crowned champions after beating France 4-2 on penalties

LUSAIL, Qatar – Argentina clinched their third World Cup with a 4-2 shoot-out win over defending champions France, after both sides drew 3-3 after extra time in a thrilling final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick while Lionel Messi bagged a double, leaving France and Argentina inseparable after 120 minutes of play and sending the final to penalties.

In the shoot-out, Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni failed to convert their spot kicks, setting the stage for Argentinian substitute Gonzalo Montiel to score the winning penalty and send their supporters into a frenzy.

Argentina had dominated the opening stages and led 2-0 at half-time. They opened accounts through a spot kick when Angel di Maria was fouled by Ousmane Dembele in the 23rd minute, with Messi sending France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way.

Their second goal came in the 36th minute with a counter-attack down the right flank through Alexis Mac Allister, who crossed the ball to the far post where di Maria steered a shot past the onrushing Lloris.

But France clawed their way back after a slew of substitutions by coach Didier Deschamps, with Mbappe scoring a quick-fire double in the 80th and 81st minutes.

The French forward halved the deficit with an 80th-minute penalty after Nicolas Otamendi had fouled substitute Randal Kolo Muani in the box.

A minute later, Mbappe scored the equaliser with a volley to send the match into extra time, where Messi scored again to put them ahead before Mbappe completed his hat-trick through the spot.

With his treble, Mbappe won the Golden Boot with eight goals, but the 23-year-old was not celebrating as his Paris Saint-Germain teammate led Argentina to their first world title since 1986. REUTERS

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