Argentina defeated France in a spectacular final and can therefore call itself the winner of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Despite three goals from Kylian Mbappé, the French could not prevent Lionel Messi from winning his coveted world title with Argentina. The exciting game had a 3-3 score after 120 minutes and was finally decided by penalties. The goal-rich duel will go down in the books as one of the most memorable World Cup finals ever.
The Argentines started the game sharply and gave France no room to play football. Ángel Di Maria in particular made it difficult for the French defenders with his agile actions. The Argentinian attacker was personally responsible for the first ultimate opportunity to take the lead. After action at the back line, with which he sent Ousmane Dembélé into the woods, Di Maria was lightly touched in the penalty area by the French attacker, who tried to correct his mistake. The Argentinian was only too happy to go to the ground and thus forced a questionable penalty, which was mercilessly shot in by Lionel Messi and made it 1-0 on the scoreboard.
MESSI LIFTS THE WORLD CUP 🇦🇷🐐 pic.twitter.com/Yx2jd8fyuc
— Messi Media (@LeoMessiMedia) December 18, 2022
After the goal of the Argentinians, the game image did not change. France was difficult to get rid of their own half and saw no possibility to increase the pressure. When Didier Deschamps’ team did play with almost the entire team in half of Argentina, it immediately got the lid on the nose. The Argentinians signed for the 2-0 in the 36th minute from a razor-sharp counter over several discs. Lionel Messi tapped the ball to the side, where Alvarez played the ball to Rodrigo de Paul. The Atlético Madrid midfielder laid the ball ready for Di Maria, who rewarded his good play in the first half with a goal in the World Cup final. The Juventus striker, who is used to scoring in big games, couldn’t contain his emotions after the goal and celebrated his important goal in tears.
The French could no longer continue to play in the same way, coach Didier Deschamps thought. Although it is not often that substitutions take place in the first half of a World Cup final, Deschamps decided to send a clear signal to his team before the break. In the 40th minute, he chose to take the attackers Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembélé off and brought in Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani, who made it 2-0 against Morocco. In the first half, which added no less than seven minutes of injury time, it did not change the game image, so that the teams went to rest with a 2-0 score.
The best #FIFAWorldCup Final ever.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 18, 2022
After the break, both teams continued where they left off. The French only scored their first shot in the 70th minute of the game. It was Mbappé who fired at the goal with an attempt from outside ‘the box’, but his shot went high. Argentina had even had three opportunities to increase the lead in the meantime, but Julián Álvarez, Messi, and Mac Allister lacked purity in the completion.
While hopes disappeared in the French team, Di Maria was taken to the side by the Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni to loud applause. The not fully fit wing forward had a great game and was replaced by Marcos Acuna, with whom the coach also built in some more defensive security.
Still, the game came alive again in the 78th minute. It was substituted Randal Kolo Muani who escaped the attention of the defenders. The Argentinian defender Nicolas Otamendi then entered the game in the penalty area and committed a foul, so that the ball also hit the spot for France in this match. Kylian Mbappé kept his cool and scored the penalty: 2-1.
A World Cup final that will go down in history 🤯 pic.twitter.com/mzMJM2pi6s
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) December 18, 2022
The French supporters had not yet finished cheering or the next exciting moment was already imminent. It was captain Messi who lost the ball and gave France the opportunity to mount another attack. With a long ball to Kylian Mbappé, who set up a clever one-two with Thuram, France had a huge opportunity to equalize through the PSG striker. Mbappé did not fail and signed with a brilliantly executed volley for his seventh goal of the World Cup and the 2-2 in the unleashed final. The French came back from a 2-0 deficit in three sensational minutes.
The Argentines, who fought with a lead for every meter throughout the game, were pushed back considerably by France at the end of regular time. It was suddenly the French who claimed the initiative and under the leadership of Mbappé insisted on an opportunity to decide the game in their favor. Adrien Rabiot had a great opportunity to score in stoppage time, but his attempt was parried by the Argentinian keeper Emiliano Martínez.
Rabiot’s attempt turned out to be not the last opportunity in the match. After all, it was still for Argentina at the last minute. In the 97th minute, the Argentines cleared Messi, who aimed for a shot of about twenty meters. His pungent effort was catalyzed out of the goal by goalkeeper Lloris so that the decision in the game failed to materialize and both teams prepared for extra time.
The biggest opportunities in the first half of extra time were for the Argentinian substitute Lautaro Martínez. However, due to a good block by the French defender Dayot Upamecano and attentive goalkeeping by Lloris, he was unable to take advantage of those opportunities. During the half-time period of extra time, it was clear to see that the French coach Deschamps was furious and pepped up the players for the second part of extra time.
Still, the first chance in the second half of extra time was again for the Argentines, where Messi tried to surprise the French keeper with a shot from outside the box. Lloris, however, reacted attentively again and managed to box the ball out of the corner.
The Argentinians then continued to increase the pressure and moments later managed to clear Martinez with good combination play. The attacker was in a promising position and shot the ball hard at goal in pursuit of the lead. Goalkeeper Lloris managed to stop the ball in a final effort, after which it landed at the feet of Messi, who was able to shoot the ball in just five yards from goal, despite unsuccessful attempts by French defenders to clear the ball in front of the goalkeeper. remove line. Although the ball did not hit the net, goal-line technology confirmed that the ball had completely crossed the line before the French defender kicked it out of goal. With that, Messi signed in the 108th minute with his second goal of the evening and his seventh goal of the World Cup for the 3-2 lead in the final.
However, the 3-2 was not the final score of the match. After a handball from Gonzalo Montiell in the 118th minute, Kylian Mbappé was given the opportunity to score his third goal of the evening via a penalty kick and bring the tie back on the scoreboard. The talented attacker did not fail and, with his three goals, is the first player since 1966 with a hat-trick in a World Cup final.
Although the 3-3 only fell just before the end, it did not mean that an equal final score was a foregone conclusion. In the last minutes of extra time, both teams had enormous opportunities to take the lead. On the Argentinian side, it was Martinez who got into scoring position twice, while on the French side Kolo Muani got two life-size opportunities to claim the hero role. Referee Szymon Marciniak whistled with a 3-3 score on the scoreboard before the end of extra time, allowing both teams to prepare for the penalty shootout to decide the final.
The penalty shootout was kicked off by the main players of the evening: Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi. Both star players did not fail from eleven meters and ensured a 1-1 score during the penalty shootout. On the French side, it was then Kingsley Coman who was unable to outwit the Argentinian goalkeeper Martinez, so Paulo Dybala gave Argentina a 2-1 lead. When French midfielder Aurélien Tchouameni also missed his penalty kick, the game seemed decided. The Argentinian Paredes did not fail and gave his team a 3-1 lead during the penalty shootout. The French attacker Kolo Muani managed to bring the score to 3-2. But in the end, it was Montiel, who caused the penalty kick ahead of the 3-3 with his handball in extra time,
The gruesome match will go down in history as one of the most memorable World Cup finals. With the title, Lionel Messi follows in the footsteps of Diego Maradona and finally fulfills his dream of lifting the World Cup with the Argentina national team.
WORLD CUP FOOTBALL IN QATAR
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is very controversial. First of all, an investigation by the American FBI showed that Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010 through bribery. Moreover, in recent years, during the preparations for the tournament, such as the construction of stadiums and other facilities, human rights have been violated and at least 6,500 migrant workers have died. They came mainly from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and had to work in unsafe working conditions and extreme heat, Amnesty International said in a report. The government in Qatar has almost never conducted a proper investigation into the deaths and FIFA would have looked away, according to the human rights organization.
According to human rights organizations, Qatar is guilty of sportwashing: using a major tournament to put a country in a good light, while concealing misconduct and human rights violations. In addition to the death of the migrant workers, the ban on homosexuality is also something that many believe makes Qatar an unsuitable host country. For example, Human Rights Watch released a report a few weeks before the World Cup that shows that LGBT people have been arbitrarily arrested and abused in the country without charge over the past three years.
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