France vs Croatia

Football

World Cup Final: Croatia battles France for top prize — LIVE UPDATES

By Tunde Eludini

July 15, 2018

Croatia are looking to lift the FIFA World Cup for the first time. They are taking on powerhouse France in Moscow in the final of the 2018 Mundial.

After 63 matches, the World Cup final is here, and not many would have predicted rightly that it would be this two teams that would compete this time for football’s most coveted silverware. Croatia, since beating Nigeria in their opening group game, have grown from strength to strength.

The French team have also remained formidable, dispatching all their previous opponents here in Russia.

An explosive tie is expected as we look forward to who succeeds Germany as the next world champion.

Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for live updates of this encounter.

Kick off is 4.pm

The stage is set in Moscow for the 2018 World cup final

The activities of the closing ceremony now over and the two teams set to find their way to the pitch

The National anthems already rendered and we are set for action

Free kick to France as Modric brings down Umtiti

Perisic wins the ball and runs into the France box but lose out

Croatia look more threatening in the early exchanges

Croatia win a corner kick

Giroud helps with a clearance but Croatia continue to press in this early stages

Chance.. Perisic brings the ball down in France box but rolls out of play

France Vs Croatia World CUp final 2018

France Vs Croatia World CUp final 2018

France have been behind for only nine minutes and 12 seconds at this World Cup, with that short period coming during the last-16 clash with Argentina when they quickly responded, and then soon regained their lead en route to the 4-3 victory

Free kick for France after Griezmann was brought down at the edge of the penalty box

Greizman takes the free kick

GOAL

France celebrate their goal

Wonderful Goal. For France

Mario Mandzucki with an own goal

This is the first ever in a world cup final

Mario Manduzic has scored the 12th own goal of the tournament after he put his on Griezmann’s freekick

The trend continues for Croatia.. they are in the backfoot again.. that has been the case all through the knock out phase

Freekick to Croatia with Modric standing over the ball but Vida heads it over the bar

The trend continues for Croatia.. they are in the backfoot again.. that has been the case all through the knock out phase

Since 1974.. only Italy have come from behind to win a World cup final

Croatia has to come from behind to win this final as Italy did at the expense of France in 2006

Great save from Lloris from Modric free kick

Another Free kick to Croatia. First yellow card of the final goven to Kante

Croatia GOAL through Perisic

Croatia equalises

France have to go and do it all again if they hope to add more trophies to their cabinet

Corner kick to France. Perisic handles the ball in the area and France through penalty were allowed back in the lead

France players appeal for PENALTY ..

FReekick to Croatia. Perisic won it, but kicked away by Pogba

Corner to Croatia but cleared by Giroud. tense few minutes it has been

Umtiti is down injured

Another corner to Croatia.

Three minutes additional time. great relief for the French after corner is played out

For many, Croatia making it this far has been described as a sporting miracle already, and should they manage to beat France and lift the trophy then it could well go down alongside Greece winning the Euros in 2004 and Leicester City winning the Premier League as one of the great sporting stories

End of first half. France took the lead in the 18th minute through own goal, Croatia levelled 10 minutes later through a stunning Perisic strike but he was the villian as his handling of the ball in the penalty area handed France the lead again. France 2-1 Croatia in the World Cup final

kick off second half

Chance Croatia

Corner kick to croatia

Maria Manduzkic forays forward blocked

Corner to Croatia but Vlsarko shoots wide

Players contesting the ball

Players contesting the ball

Croatia are the lowest-ranked team to have made it to the World Cup final, sitting as they do 20th in the FIFA rankings, so it is important to remember that they are massive underdogs to have made it this far.

Game has been stopped. Some intruders have made it onto the pitch

Substitution France Nzonzi comes on for Kante

Kante before now has played all minutes for France at this Worldcup

Perisic does well to whip in a cross but France make the clearance

GOAL!!!! POGBA

First shot blocked.. second shot straight into the net… France 3-1 Croatia

Desperate defending from Croatia as France look to extend their lead

Croatia coach Zarko Dalic looking confused now

France want a free kick but ref says play on

Goal.. Mbappe

4-1 Mbappe Scores

Long range effort by the youngster goes in and it’s France 4-1

His is the first teenage World Cup goal since Pele. Hernandez did his best to keep the ball and Mbappe low strike makes it four. Mbappe is the third teenage to start in a World Cup final

This gets stranger and stranger.

Another goal to CRoatia

Lloris in moment of madness hands the ball to Manduzkic who redeems himself

Manduzkic down after a clash of heads with Umtiti

Substitution France, Tolisso comes on for Matuidi

Rakitic shot at goal was well out wide. These Croatians are not done yet

They have got 14 shots to France’s seven

Substitution France Fekir comes on for Giroud. this has been a goalless world Cup for the Chelsea man

Substitution Croatia, Strinic comes for Pjaca

Free Kick by Croatia, caught comfortably by Lloris

Free kick to France

Fekir’s effort at goal caught by Subasic

Rakitic effort from range goes well off the crossbar

Free Kick to France

Five minutes additional time

So after 20 years… France are looking good to lift the world cup trophy again

Yellow card to Vrsarlko

Free kick to France

France coach Didier Deschamps has joined the very exclusive list ofindividuals to win the Worldcup as a player and coach

And France are World Champions