As It Happened: France 4-2 Croatia | Nigerian News. Latest Nigeria News. Your online Nigerian Newspaper. f

Good afternoon and welcome to Nigerianeye's live text coverage of the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

History beckons for one of these two teams at the end of one of the most memorable World Cups of all time, with France looking to lift the trophy for just a second time and Croatia bidding for their very first title.

Les Bleus - managed by 1998 winner Didier Deschamps - overcame Belgium's golden generation in the semi-finals, whereas Croatia ended England's dreams with an extra-time victory in this very stadium.

Make sure you don't miss a moment of the action from the biggest game in football courtesy of our minute-by-minute updates below.


FRANCE: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe

CROATIA: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric, Brozovic; Perisic, Mandzukic, Rebic

Thanks for joining our live coverage of the match!


90+5 min FULL TIME: France 4-2 Croatia

90+3 min CHANCE! The free kick is floated into an unmarked Pogba, but he completely misses the ball when he should have scored!

90+2 min YELLOW CARD! Vrsaljko goes into the book for a rash challenge on his Atletico teammate Griezmann.

90+1 min There will be five minutes of added time at the end of this match.

89 min SHOT! Rakitic tries to pull something out of the bag from range, but his effort flies a long way high and wide.

88 min Allez Les Bleus' rings around the Luzhniki Stadium as the fans make themselves heard with only two minutes remaining now. France are heading for their second World Cup title!

86 min Just four minutes remaining of this match - and this World Cup - now, and it looks as though it is all over. You can never be too sure at this World Cup, but France have done a very good job of seeing this game out.

84 min I promised you a clip of that Lloris howler, and here it is in all its 'glory'. A moment to forget, but I'm sure he won't be thinking of it if he lifts the trophy aloft!

82 min CROATIA SUB: Croatia also make a change as Marko Pjaca comes on for Strinic.

81 min FRANCE SUB: Another change for France here as Nabil Fekir replaces Giroud.

80 min Croatia are enjoying all of the possession and territory now, with France defending very deep and simply trying to keep their opponents at bay. A goal for Croatia now would make things very interesting indeed.

78 min SHOT! Rakitic tries his luck from outside the area as the ball falls to him, but he drags his effort wide of the target with Lloris watching it all the way.

77 min Croatia are seeing more of the ball now, as you would expect, but France have proven themselves good at seeing these types of games out at this World Cup and Croatia are beginning to run out of time here. It is all about game management now.

73 min FRANCE SUB: France respond with a change of their own as Corentin Tolisso replaces Matuidi.

71 min CROATIA SUB: A change for Croatia here as Andrej Kramaric replaces Rebic.

71 min We will bring you that Lloris howler a little later, but for now here is Mbappe's goal which put France three ahead...

69 min Now then! Perhaps this one isn't over just yet!

It is an absolute horror show from Hugo Lloris in the final of the World Cup as he takes far too long on the ball and tries a suicidal pass past Mandzukic, who just sticks out a leg to send the ball into the net. It is one of the most bizarre goals you will ever see at this level!

69 min GOAL! France 4-2 Croatia (Mario Mandzukic)

67 min France are in complete control now. This is a harsh scoreline on Croatia, it must be said, but France look like they have more goals in them yet. Griezmann and Mbappe may even have one eye on that Golden Boot.

65 min It is well and truly game over now! Kylian Mbappe joins one of the most exclusive clubs in football, joining Pele as the only teenagers to have scored in a World Cup final!

It is a brilliant goal from the youngster too. He is given the time and space to pick his spot from 25 yards out, and he drills a low strike into the bottom corner past the keeper.

65 min GOAL! France 4-1 Croatia (Kylian Mbappe)

65 min That third goal finally appears to have taken the wind out of the sails of Croatia. It has taken a lot, but Croatia seem to be out of belief right now.

63 min Here is that third France goal, which saw Pogba become the first ever Manchester United player to score in a World Cup final...

61 min France can smell blood here! Croatia struggle to clear their lines from a cross into the box and Giroud acrobatically steers it back across goal towards Griezmann, but Brozovic comes flying back to put it behind for a corner.

59 min That could be the goal that wraps up the World Cup for France! They have the two-goal cushion, and it is a long, long way back for Croatia now!

Pogba starts it all off with a lovely ball through for Mbappe, who dips inside before cutting the ball back for Griezmann. Griezmann then tees up Pogba, who sees his first effort blocked before curling his second attempt past a wrong-footed Subasic with his left boot.

59 min GOAL! France 3-1 Croatia (Paul Pogba)

57 min France enjoy a rare spell of possession, but Mbappe then tries to take the defence on and is quickly dispossessed. It is Croatia who look most like going on to get the game's next goal right now!

55 min FRANCE SUB: Very interesting change from France here as Kante departs just 10 minutes into the second half. Kante is on a yellow card and had not been having his best game in truth, and he is replaced by Steven N'Zonzi.

54 min Rakitic clips an aerial ball into the box towards Mandzukic, who challenges Lloris in the air. Lloris gets something on it, but not much and it goes behind for a corner, which is then overturned for a free kick.

52 min CHANCE! It is impossible to defend against the pace of Mbappe at times. Here he races around the outside Vida on his way into the box before drilling a low strike towards goal, but Subasic is quick off his line and thwarts the French winger.

50 min Ambitious from Vrsaljko as a corner is cleared as far as him and he tries a Paul Scholes-esque volley from 30 yards. He connects with it well enough, but the direction is all off.

49 min Croatia are looking dangerous at the start of the second half too! A long ball forward almost releases Perisic, but Varane gets a toe to it and then Lloris comes out of his area to chest the ball past the Croatia forward.

48 min SAVE! Croatia go up the other end and Rakitic plays a clever ball into the path of Rebic, who has to take the shot first time. He gets a good effort on goal too, and it takes a fingertip save from Lloris to tip it over the crossbar.

47 min SAVE! Griezmann tries his luck from range, but his effort is tame and easy for Subasic to collect. One more goal for France may just put this game to bed.

46 min KICKOFF: France get us back underway for the second half of this World Cup final, and they lead despite all of the major stats being against them. Indeed, the French have only had one shot all game, despite scoring two goals!

The first half comes to an end in the 2018 World Cup final, and it is one which has gone very quickly with a bit of everything so far.

It is France who lead the way after the halfway stage, but both of their goals have had an air of controversy about them. Croatia have arguably been the better team so far, but they will once again have to come from behind if they are to cap this dream run to the final by winning the trophy.

45+3 min HALF TIME: France 2-1 Croatia

45+3 min France are really struggling with these aerial balls into the box. The latest of which from Vrsaljko looks destined for the head of Perisic, but the winger seems to hold back and it goes through to safety. That could have been a huge chance!

45+2 min There is thunder rumbling around the Luzhniki Stadium as the dark clouds begin to gather. There is a storm a-coming!

45+1 min Another corner for Croatia causes yet more problems, but Vida overshoots his run and has his back to goal when it arrives.

45+1 min There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this first half, which has flown by.

44 min The late pressure in this first half is coming from Croatia as they win a couple of corners in quick succession, neither of which France deal with very well. They eventually scramble the ball clear, but that was far from convincing.

42 min Let's hope we haven't seen all of the goals yet either!

40 min CHANCE! Croatia almost respond quickly once again as a cross from the left finds Rebic, but he completely mis-hits his effort and it rolls tamely into the arms of Lloris, with Mandzukic unable to react in time.

38 min Cool as you like from Antoine Griezmann! The French forward has to wait an age to take the penalty after a VAR review and subsequent Croatian protests, but Griezmann makes no mistake from 12 yards.

The Atletico Madrid man waits for Subasic to go, and then just rolls it into the opposite corner calmly. Advantage France again!

40 min CHANCE! Croatia almost respond quickly once again as a cross from the left finds Rebic, but he completely mis-hits his effort and it rolls tamely into the arms of Lloris, with Mandzukic unable to react in time.

38 min Cool as you like from Antoine Griezmann! The French forward has to wait an age to take the penalty after a VAR review and subsequent Croatian protests, but Griezmann makes no mistake from 12 yards.

The Atletico Madrid man waits for Subasic to go, and then just rolls it into the opposite corner calmly. Advantage France again!

38 min GOAL! France 2-1 Croatia (Antoine Griezmann, pen)


35 min We have a VAR review in the World Cup final! The ball struck the hand of Perisic just behind Matuidi, and Nestor Pitana is going to have a look on the screen himself! It definitely struck the hand, but Perisic did not know much about it.

34 min CHANCE! This is a chance for France! A corner into the near post is completely missed by Matuidi when a glancing header could have caused them plenty of problems.

32 min This opening half an hour of the World Cup final has flown by, and Croatia deserve that equaliser for the way they have played so far. It is poised very nicely indeed and I would be surprised if there were no more twists and turns before the end of the 90 minutes.

30 min Could France once again fall foul of the exception to this rule?

28 min We could be in for a classic here, folks! Ten minutes after falling behind, Croatia are level through Perisic, who has really come into his own in the past two games!

France are unable to clear their lines from a cross into the box and Vida knocks the ball back to the Inter Milan man, who skips away from his marker before lashing his finish past Lloris, via a deflection off the thigh of Varane.

28 min GOAL! France 1-1 Croatia (Ivan Perisic)

27 min YELLOW CARD! Kante picks up the first yellow card of the final with a cynical trip on Perisic.

26 min Look away Croatia fans - here is that opening goal, which came completely against the run of play...

24 min CHANCE! This is another half-chance by Rakitic's standards and he gets on the end of a drifted cross towards the edge of the box. It would be one of the great World Cup final goals if it comes off as Rakitic goes for a first-time left-footed volley, but he gets it all wrong.

23 min Brilliant piece of defending from Vida just as France looked as though they might be in once again. The ball was slipped through to Mbappe, who has a man in support, but Vida slides in with a perfectly-timed challenge to steal possession.

21 min CHANCE! Half a chance for Croatia to respond immediately as they win a free kick in a good crossing position. Vida meets it with a header, but he cannot keep his effort down.

20 min An unwanted slice of history for Mandzukic...

18 min France have been on the back foot throughout the opening stages of this match, but they have just taken the lead with their first real attack!

Mandzukic was the hero in extra time against England, but he is the villain now as he inadvertently glances Griezmann's free kick into his own net! The striker could not get high enough to clear the danger and just helped the ball on its way past a helpless Subasic.

18 min GOAL! France 1-0 Croatia (Mario Mandzukic, own goal)

18 min Better from France as they come forward and keep Croatia under some sustained pressure for the first time. It eventually ends with Griezmann going down softly to give France a free kick in a promising position...

17 min Really good tracking from Rakitic, who follows Giroud all the way and gets an important foot to the ball. Rebic has also come back to help his teammate out and Croatia are once again able to clear the danger.

15 min Big chance for Croatia to create their first opening as Perisic escapes down the left flank, bursting forward into space and looking up to see Mandzukic in the middle. However, Perisic cannot produce the required cross, with Umtiti getting in a good position to clear the danger.

13 min France are struggling to get anything going at the moment, with the likes of Mbappe, Griezmann and Giroud barely having a touch of the ball in an attacking sense so far. Les Bleus are looking to play on the counter-attack, but it hasn't worked in the opening stages.

11 min Rakitic clips a pass over the top for Perisic, who almost brings it down brilliantly inside the box having got the wrong side of his marker. However, the ball just squirms away from him and goes behind for a goal kick.

10 min Croatia have stolen possession off the toes of French players on three or four occasions inside the France half in this opening 10 minutes. They are sharper all over the park right now and will be delighted with how they have started this game.

9 min Mbappe is forced all the way back to his own byline to make a defensive challenge which puts the ball behind for a corner, and Varane clears the subsequent delivery in commanding fashion.

7 min This has been a very interesting opening to this match, not how I expected it to go at all. France may find themselves having to weather an early storm here.

5 min Croatia have made a very bright start to this match. They are buzzing about the pitch full of energy and France have been comparatively slow to get going here. The Croats are very much up for this one!

3 min Croatia are looking to press quickly off the ball here. They are trying to give France very little time on the ball all over the field, and France are struggling to come to terms with it in these opening exchanges.

1 min KICKOFF: Here we go, then! Referee Nestor Pitana gets the 2018 World Cup final underway having also blown the first whistle of this tournament 31 days ago - Croatia kick us off!

Click to signup for FREE news updates, latest information and hottest gists everyday

Advertise on to reach thousands of our daily users

Post a Comment Default Disqus

Latest Nigerian News
Comments are Moderated. Clean Comments will be swiftly approved. No swear words, no racism, allowed.