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Argentina win World Cup on penalties after thrilling final

ARGENTINA were crowned champions of the world on Sunday after beating France on penalties.

It had looked as if they would win in normal time after building a 2-0 lead but two goals from Mbappe levelled the game.

Messi scored again in extra time but Mbappe equalised to complete a World Cup Final hat trick.

Argentina held their nerve in the shootout to seal a thrilling win and their first World Cup win since 1986.

France started the game poorly and it led to an early chance for Alexis Mac Allister but his shot went straight into the midriff of Hugo Lloris.

Rodrigo De Paul then saw a shot deflected wide as they continued to pile the pressure on.

On 21 minutes Angel Di Maria made his way into the box but was brought down by Dembele and the referee pointed to the spot.

Lionel Messi stepped up and confidently stroked the ball in, sending Lloris the wrong way.

France had a couple of free kicks but Emiliano Martinez was not troubled.

With ten minutes to go until half time Argentina took a big step towards lifting the World Cup trophy.

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Messi was involved again as he set Mac Allister free and he sent a diagonal ball into the box for Do Maria who fired back across goal and into the net.

Didier Deschamps was clearly unhappy and in the 40th minute he made a double change with Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram coming on for Dembele and Olivier Giroud.

They were unable to change the game before half time and Argentina went in at the break in a strong position.

In the second half there was an early chance for De Paul but his shot was saved by Lloris.

France then won a corner but Antoine Griezmann’s delivery was gathered by Martinez.

With twenty minutes to go Kylian Mbappe looked to get his side back in the game but his shot went over.

With 12 minutes to go France were awarded a penalty after Kolo Muani was brought down by Nicolas Otamendi.

Mbappe stepped up and scored despite Martinez getting a hand on it.

It set up an exciting final 10 minutes with France right back in the game.

Just a minute later they equalised as the ball was looped over to Mbappe who volleyed the ball down and into the corner of the net.

Similar to their round of 16 game with the Netherlands they had blown a 2-goal lead near the end. Argentina won that game on penalties but this was different.

With three minutes to go Marcus Thuram went down in the box but he was booked for diving. Replays showed it was the correct decision from the referee.

Eight minutes of time added on and there was still time for more drama.

Mbappe was on a hat trick but saw a shot deflected over.

Lionel Messi then unleashed a stunning effort but Lloris did well to push it over the bar.

That was the last of the action and extra time would be needed.

Lautaro Martinez was brought on in the first half of extra time and he had two good chances but saw a shot blocked and another go wide.

At the start of the second period of extra time Messi had another shot but saw the ball pushed away by Lloris.

A minute later Argentina were ahead. Martinez saw a shot saved but the rebound was tapped in by Messi despite the ball being kicked out from behind the line.

There was still 10 minutes to go and France needed to come back again.

With four minutes to go France were awarded a penalty following a handball in the box.

Mbappe had the ball in his hands and he fired it in to level the game and complete a World Cup final hat trick.

Three minutes of time were added on at the end and a chance came for Martinez but he was flagged offside.

There was another chance for Kolo Muani but he saw a shot saved.

In an end to end finish Martinez had another chance but he headed wide.

That was the end of the action and it meant penalties would be needed to separate the two sides.

Mbappe and Messi scored their first penalties but Coman saw his penalty saved. Paulo Dybala then scored to put Argentina ahead.

Tchouameni was next for France but he sent his penalty wide.

Paredes scored for Argentina to give his side a 3-1 lead.

Kolo Muani needed to score to keep France in it and he smashed it home.

Montiel held his nerve to score the winning penalty and bring an end to one of the most enthralling finals in recent years.