QATAR: After a thrilling final at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Argentina won the 2022 World Cup by defeating France 4-2 on penalties and drawing 3-3.
Through Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, Argentina got an early two-goal lead before defending champs France came back strongly to tie the game with two goals from Kylian Mbappe.
After Messi gave Argentina the lead in extra time, Mbappe completed his hat trick from the spot kick in the extra time to equalize the score and send the game to a penalty shootout.
The outcome means that Messi, playing in his record 25th and potentially final World Cup match, has a fairy-tale ending as he lifts the trophy for the first time, the only significant FIFA title he hadn’t won.
The 2022 title is Argentina’s third World Championship after 1978 and 1986
While France, which won the previous World Cup in 2018, was unable to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win both tournaments.
Argentina appeared to be on their way to a comfortable victory when Di Maria, Messi’s teammate and unexpected starter, scored twice in the 23rd minute to give them the lead.
However, France came alive late in the game and reaped the rewards when substitute Randal Kolo Muani won a penalty with less than ten minutes remaining, which Mbappe converted. France had not scored in the first 79 minutes.
After France won the ball back at the halfway line, Mbappe scored again almost immediately. He eventually fed the PSG player a floated pass on the edge of the box, which he volleyed into the bottom right corner to send the game into extra time.
Argentina thought they had won in extra time when Messi took advantage of a goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’s mistake to score. However, France scored again before the end of regulation when Mbappe scored another penalty after Gonzalo Montiel’s handball, sending the game into a shootout.
Mbappe also won the tournament’s Golden Boot ahead of Messi with his eighth goal in Qatar.
Mbappe and Messi scored the first two penalties, but Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved the subsequent two France attempts from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni. Montiel then stepped up and scored to help Argentina win 4-2 on penalties.