User:Icem4k/Draft 5

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France[change | change source]

France entered the 2018 World Cup as one of the favourites to win the tournament, particularly for their strong squad featuring several youth talents.[1] The team finished as as runners-up to Portugal at Euro 2016, which the country hosted.[1] The team qualified for the World Cup proper after finishing first in their qualification group, ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands.[1]

At the World Cup, France were drawn into Group C alongside Australia, Denmark, and Peru. The team defeated Australia 2–1 in its opening match in Kazan, with a penalty called by the video assistant referee and scored by Antoine Griezmann followed by an own goal deflected by Australian defender Aziz Behich.[2] In its second match, France won 1–0 over Peru on a goal scored by 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé, who became France's youngest goalscorer at a major tournament.[3][4] The victory over Peru qualified France for the knockout stage, allowing manager Didier Deschamps to rest several starting players for the final group stage match against Denmark. The match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow finished in a scoreless draw marked by misplaced passes and goalkeeping mistakes.[5] The team's group stage performance was characterised as lacking cohesion and failing to use its star players effectively.[6]

Finishing as winners of Group C, France were matched in the round of 16 with Group D runners-up Argentina. France won 4–3 on two goals scored by Mbappé, who also won a penalty in the opening minutes.[7] Mbappé's performance drew comparisons to Brazilian stars Ronaldo[8] and Pelé, the latter who in 1958 was the last teenager to score twice in a World Cup match.[9] In the quarter-finals, France defeated Uruguay 2–0 on a goal and assist by Antoine Griezmann.[10] The team advanced to a semi-final match against Belgium in St. Petersburg, which ended in a 1–0 win for the French with a corner kick headed into the goal by defender Samuel Umtiti.[11] The French team, particularly Mbappé, were criticised for timewasting and other unsportsmanlike conduct in the semi-finals after taking the lead in the second half.[12]

Croatia[change | change source]

Croatia entered the 2018 World Cup as potential contenders, with their golden generation led by forward Mario Mandžukić and midfielders Marcelo Brozović, Mateo Kovačić, Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, and Ivan Rakitić.[13][14] The team had been eliminated in the group stage at the 2014 tournament,[15] but reached the round of 16 of UEFA Euro 2016.[16] In their qualification group, Croatia scored 15 goals and finished second to Iceland after appointing manager Zlatko Dalić amid a series of poor away results.[17][18] However, Croatia managed to advance past Greece in the qualifying play-offs, winning the first leg 4–1 and drawing 0–0 in the second.[19]

Croatia were drawn into Group D with Argentina, Iceland, and Nigeria, considered a difficult draw due to Argentina's talent and Nigeria's historic performances.[17][20] In their opening match, the team earned a 2–0 victory over Nigeria, with an own goal by Oghenekaro Etebo caused by Mandžukić and a penalty scored by Modrić.[21] Croatia went on to upset Argentina with a 3–0 win and finished atop the group with a 2–1 win over Iceland, resting several starting players in the final match.[22][23][24]

In the round of 16, Croatia played Denmark and earned a 1–1 draw after the two teams exchanged goals in the opening five minutes and a missed penalty from Modrić in extra time. Croatia won the subsequent penalty shootout 3–2, with three saves by goalkeeper Danijel Subašić and two saves by Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.[25][26] The team advanced to a quarter-final fixture with hosts Russia, who had defeated Spain in the round of 16, in Sochi. The Russians scored their first in the 31st minute, but Andrej Kramarić equalised for Croatia eight minutes later and kept the score at 1–1 through the end of regular time. Croatia took a 2–1 lead in extra time with a header by Domagoj Vida, but Russian defender Mário Fernandes equalised in stoppage time to trigger a penalty shootout. The shootout was won 4–3 by Croatia after two misses by Russia and a shot by Modrić that rebounded off the post and into the goal.[27][28] Croatia became the second team in World Cup to win two shootouts in a tournament, after Argentina in 1990.[29] After the match, a video of Vida saying "Glory to Ukraine" prompted controversy among Russians and a warning from FIFA's disciplinary committee, which enforces a ban on political slogans.[30] Croatia's semi-final match against England at the Luzhniki began with a free kick goal by English defender Kieran Trippier in the fifth minute. Croatia resisted several attempts by England to score a second goal and earned an equalising goal of their own through a shot by Perišić in the 68th minute. The match was won 2–1 by Croatia after a 109th minute goal by Mandžukić.[31][32]

f[change | change source]

Summary[change | change source]

Antoine Griezmann, named the Man of the Match after scoring one goal and assisting another

Croatia kicked off the final at 18:00 local time (15:00 UTC), with the ground temperature reported at 27 °C (81 °F).[33] The match was played through a minor thunderstorm, which produced several visible lightning strikes.[34] An audience of 78,011 spectators at the Luzhniki Stadium watched the match, including ten heads of state, among them Russian president Vladimir Putin, French president Emmanuel Macron, and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.[35] The starting lineups for both teams were identical to those fielded in the semi-finals.[36]

Croatia had the majority of possession and chances early in the first half, with the ball staying mostly in France's half.[37][38] An attack by French midfielder Antoine Griezmann was stopped by a challenge from Marcelo Brozović, which was called as a foul despite claims that Griezmann dived. In the incident, Griezmann began falling before Brozović made contact.[39][40][41] Griezmann took the ensuing 30-yard (27 m) free kick, which was diverted by Mario Mandžukić into his own net to give France the lead in the 18th minute.[42] It was the first own goal to be scored in a World Cup final and the 12th of the tournament, the most of any World Cup.[43]

Ten minutes later, Croatia equalised with a left-footed strike by Ivan Perišić, assisted by Domagoj Vida after a free kick by Luka Modrić. In the 34th minute, a penalty was awarded against Croatia after Perišić's handball in the box was reviewed by the video assistant referee.[42] Griezmann scored the penalty in the 38th minute, giving France a 2–1 lead at half-time; the first half's three goals were the most of any World Cup final since 1974.[44] France led at half-time despite having only one shot on goal and with only 34 percent of possession.[43]

Play was stopped early in the second half after several pitch invaders were chased onto the field by security officers; Russian feminist rock band and protest group Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the interruption.[45] In the 59th minute, France extended their lead to 3–1 with a strike from the edge of the penalty area by Paul Pogba after his initial shot had been blocked. Six minutes later, Kylian Mbappé scored France's fourth goal, with a shot from outside the box; Mbappé became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pelé in 1958.[38] Croatia scored their second goal in the 69th minute, as from a back-pass, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris failed to dribble around Mandžukić, who poked the loose ball into the unguarded net. Despite a late push by Croatia, the match finished as a 4–2 victory for France and the highest-scoring World Cup final since 1966.[37][44]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Loaded, Deep France Enters World Cup as One of Favorites to Win it All". Sports Illustrated. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  2. Sutcliffe, Steve (18 June 2018). "France 2–1 Australia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. Clarey, Cristopher (21 June 2018). "36 Years and No World Cup Goals: Peru Eliminated by France". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  4. Lawrence, Amy (21 June 2018). "France seal last-16 spot as Kylian Mbappé earns victory over Peru". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  5. Dunbar, Graham (26 June 2018). "Denmark advances at World Cup in drab 0–0 draw with France". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  6. White, Adam (22 June 2018). "France under Deschamps look a lot like England under Eriksson". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  7. Wilson, Jonathan (30 June 2018). "Kylian Mbappé doubles up in France's rollercoaster victory over Argentina". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  8. "King Kylian! Is France superstar Mbappe the heir to the Brazilian Ronaldo's throne?". Goal.com. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  9. "Mbappe on Pele comparison: 'flattering, but he's in another category'". Chicago Tribune. Agence France-Presse. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. Bevan, Chris (6 July 2018). "Uruguay 0–2 France". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  11. Taylor, Daniel (10 July 2018). "Samuel Umtiti header puts France in World Cup final with win over Belgium". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  12. Das, Andrew (10 July 2018). "France Rides to World Cup Final on Defense's Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  13. Yokhin, Michael (26 May 2018). "Croatia quartet of star midfielders provides hope of escaping group". ESPN. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  14. Janieck, Karel (27 May 2018). "World Cup Countdown: Talented Croatia arrives with unfulfilled potential". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  15. "Croatia 1 Mexico 3". BBC Sport. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  16. Holiga, Aleksandar (6 July 2018). "Croatia's World Cup run divides nation where football is never just sport". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Modric, Rakitic Key Croatia's Star-Laden Squad in Difficult World Cup Group". Sports Illustrated. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  18. Clegg, Jonathan (6 July 2018). "Croatia: The World Cup's Russian Nesting Dolls". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 July 2018. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  19. "Croatia secure World Cup 2018 place with victory over Greece". BBC Sport. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  20. "Croatia out to match success of 1998 World Cup generation". Reuters. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  21. Bogage, Jacob (16 June 2018). "Croatia vs. Nigeria 2018 World Cup: Modric's penalty kick seals 2–0 Croatia victory". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  22. Jennings, Patrick (21 June 2018). "Argentina 0–3 Croatia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  23. Mather, Victor (26 June 2018). "Croatia Crushes Iceland's World Cup Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  24. "Croatia take Group D with 2-1 win against Iceland". EFE. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  25. Wilson, Jeremy; Eccleshare, Charlie (2 July 2018). "Croatia through to World Cup quarter-finals after dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Denmark". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  26. "Subasic the hero as Croatia claim shootout win". FIFA.com. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  27. Rogers, Martin (7 July 2018). "Russia's underdog World Cup run comes to an end with PK loss to Croatia". USA Today. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  28. Hytner, David (7 July 2018). "Croatia book World Cup semi-final with England after penalty shootout win". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  29. Debayan (7 July 2018). "By the numbers: Back-to-back shootout wins for Croatia, record penalty saves for Subasic". ESPN. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  30. Petrosyan, Artur (8 July 2018). "Croatia defender Domagoj Vida warned by FIFA over pro-Ukraine comments". ESPN. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  31. Das, Andrew; Mather, Victor (11 July 2018). "Croatia Turns England's World Cup Destiny Into Despair". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  32. Rogers, Martin (11 July 2018). "Croatia tops England in extra time to reach World Cup final". USA Today. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  33. Cite error: The named reference match-start was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  34. Das, Andrew; Mather, Victor (15 July 2018). "France vs. Croatia: World Cup Final Live Updates". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  35. Goff, Steven; Fortier, Sam; Wilson, Scott (15 July 2018). "France blazes past Croatia to win World Cup title for the second time". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  36. Austin, Jack (15 July 2018). "World Cup final: France and Croatia name unchanged line-ups as Kylian Mbappe starts". The Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Glendenning, Barry (15 July 2018). "World Cup 2018 final: France v Croatia – live!". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Ogden, Mark (15 July 2018). "Mbappe powers France to World Cup glory, Croatia reeling after VAR controversy". ESPN. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  39. Potts, Michael. "Antoine Griezmann: Did France star dive vs Croatia in World Cup final?". The Daily Express. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  40. Doré, Louis. "Griezmann dive and Perisic penalty: Two big decisions go against Croatia in World Cup final". i. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  41. "Griezmann dive fools Pitana and leads to opening goal for France". Diario AS. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Taylor, Daniel (15 July 2018). "France seal second World Cup triumph with 4–2 win over brave Croatia". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  43. 43.0 43.1 Bull, JJ (15 July 2018). "World Cup final 2018, France vs Croatia: live score and latest updates". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  44. 44.0 44.1 "France lift second World Cup after winning classic final 4–2". Reuters. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  45. Nyren, Erin (15 July 2018). "Pussy Riot Claims Responsibility for People Running Onto Field During World Cup". Variety. Retrieved 15 July 2018.