MOSCOW: 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.
The French, playing their third World Cup final, were made to sweat initially and were lucky to go ahead when Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic headed an Antoine Griezmann free kick into his own net in the 18th minute, the first own goal in a World Cup final.
Croatia fought hard for an hour but gradually ran out of steam after playing extra time in their three previous matches, and goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe gave France a three-goal cushion.
Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty in the 38th minute to regain France's lead.
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.
This is the highest-scoring final over 90 minutes in 60 years. (With inputs from agencies)
Image Credit: Daily Hunt