Argentina won unbelievable in the final on penalties

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with his teammates after winning the World Cup.  STORY: Argentina won the final on penalties

Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates with his teammates after winning the World Cup. (Photo by KAI PFAFFENBACH / Reuters)

LUSAIL, Qatar – Argentina won their third World Cup title in phenomenal style on Sunday, beating France 4-2 on penalties after Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-3 draw, in that featured a hat-trick for Kylian Mbappe as the holders recovered from 2-0 in 80 minutes.

It was a night of incredible drama and fluctuating fortunes, offering one of the greatest finals of all time to end a great tournament.

Argentina appeared to be headed for a one-way victory after Messi’s penalty and a brilliant first-half Angel Di Maria goal put them in full control but Mbappe converted the penalty in the 80th minute and hit it. volley equalized a minute later. match to extra time.

Messi put Argentina ahead again but Mbappe equalized with another penalty, becoming the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final after Geoff Hurst for England in 1966.

That sent the game to a penalty shootout when Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved a Kingsley Coman penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni’s long shot gave Gonzalo Montiel the chance to score, which he happily took advantage of.

That means after a record 26th match at the World Cup, at the 5th and last time, the 35-year-old Messi has finally won the trophy that he and his nation demanded, raising him to par with Diego Maradona after the country’s first football championship. led them to an emotional second victory in 1986 after the first in 1978.

neat turn

All seemed to have gone smoothly before then.

Di Maria, only a few minutes into the group stage, looked dangerous from the start and when he let Ousmane Dembele somersault with a neat turn, the confused Frenchman tripped him from the side. after 23 minutes.

Messi took the penalty, calmly sent the ball low past Hugo Lloris, and then Di Maria took center stage again after 36 minutes as he delivered one of his finest goals to score in the final.

Nahuel Molina cushioned the ball from close range to Alexis Mac Allister, who immediately passed the ball to Messi. The captain changed the course of the attack with a superb spin and at half-time, Julian Alvarez bounced back to Mac Allister, who stepped forward and perfectly pitched the ball across the pitch for Di Maria to strut and poke home.

France barely had a free-kick and manager Didier Deschamps took the decisive action, withdrawing Oliver Giroud and Dembele, while also bringing in Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani in the 41st minute.

It made little impact until they were awarded a lifeline in the 80th minute when Nicolas Otamendi tripped over Kolo Muani and Mbappe, previously unknown, successfully delivered the penalty.

A minute later, he volleyed a brilliant equalizer after cleverly coordinating with Thuram, stunning the Argentina fans as they watched their team concede two quick goals for the second time. three in the league.

Argentina regained the lead after a counter-attack when a tireless Lautaro Martinez fired a shot into the net of Hugo Lloris and Messi dashed in for a bounce, technology confirming the ball had crossed the line.

However, the drama wasn’t over yet as Mbappe hit Montiel’s arm to create another penalty in the 117th minute, which he calmly took.


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