Argentina Beat France On Penalties To Win World Cup

Argentina have won the World Cup for a third time, beating France 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the 2022 final in Qatar.

Lionel Messi’s penalty and a goal from Ángel Di María appeared to have put Argentina in control, but two quick Kylian Mbappé goals turned the game on its head with 10 minutes to go. The French talisman converted a penalty then volleyed home 60 seconds later to send the final to extra time.

Argentina rallied in extra time, with Dayot Upamecano twice denying substitute Lautaro Martínez before half-time. Early in the second half, Martínez broke through again and after Hugo Lloris parried his shot, Messi forced the ball over the line. Still France would not give in, and Mbappé converted a late penalty to level again.

Mbappé then stepped up first in the shootout, scoring before Messi rolled the ball past Lloris. Kingsley Coman saw his penalty saved and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide, allowing Gonzalo Montiel to convert the winning spot-kick and send his nation into raptures as Messi crowned his glittering career with the greatest prize of all.

The Albiceleste began the game on the front foot at Lusail Stadium in front of a crowd dominated by their supporters and took the lead with 23 minutes played in the first half. Ángel Di María drew contact from Ousmane Dembélé inside the area, and referee Szymon Marciniak pointed to the penalty spot.

Lionel Messi stepped up and sent the France keeper, Hugo Lloris, the wrong way to put Argentina in front. Thirteen minutes later it was two, as Lionel Scaloni’s side broke at speed after a rare French foray upfield. After Messi’s flick, Alexis Mac Allister played in Di María, who drilled the ball beyond Lloris to put Argentina in control.

The France manager, Didier Deschamps, responded with a double change before half-time, replacing Olivier Giroud and Dembélé with Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani. Kylian Mbappé moved to the middle but made little impact as Argentina continued to offer more attacking threat early in the second half.

Just as time appeared to be running out, Nicolás Otamendi brought down Kolo Muani in the area and Mbappé fired past Emiliano Martínez from the spot. Moments later, Kingsley Coman took the ball from Messi in midfield and Mbappé volleyed home superbly to bring France level from out of nowhere, sending the game to extra time.

The Guardian of London

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