College football and soccer analyst
Lusail, Qatar – Kylian Mbappe He sat on the bench – legs spread, his fleet France He pulled the shirt high enough to cover his entire head. Cameras flashed at him, looking for a tear or two, but that’s what he had to do to escape. Even if only for a moment.
Eventually Mbappe got up and took a deep breath. Argentina had just beaten the defending champions Why blues in epic world Cup Final penalty shootout after a 3-3 tie in overtime. And it was Mbappe who wanted to enter the depleted France team in a match that seemed lost in most of the regulations.
Frenchman Kylian Mbappe looked sad after the defending champions failed to try again. (Photo by Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Trailing 2-0 going into the 80th minute, Mbappe scored twice in less than two minutes to force extra time. Then Lionel Messi He scored heroically in the 109th minute to give Argentina a 3-2 advantage, and Mbappe responded with his third goal in the 118th minute to make it 3-3 and force a penalty shootout.
“We are back from the dead,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.
Highlights Argentina and France
In the epic World Cup final, Lionel Messi secured his long-awaited title, and France were denied a bid to win back-to-back championships.
Mbappe became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966. Carli Lloyd did it in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final for the United States.
His daring barrage of goals brought his total goals here in Qatar to eight, Which made him get the golden boot of the tournament. Mbappe has so far scored 12 goals in 14 World Cup matches, just like Pele decades ago. Former German star Miroslav Klose holds the historic record with 16, a number that Mbappe will certainly break. Probably in four years.
“It was a brilliant, brilliant performance,” Deschamps said of his co-star. “Kylian really made his mark in this final. Unfortunately, he didn’t let it go the way he would have liked, which is why he was so disappointed at the end of the match like the rest of his teammates.”
However, knowing anything about Mbappe means understanding that he doesn’t care about individual trophies or glory. His Sunday night performance, which was certainly good enough for France to win, was one from a player who has a firm refusal to quit.
So, when he walked on stage to accept the little golden soccer cleat-shaped scoring trophy, he didn’t smile. He was wearing the same gloomy and serious expression as he and his fellow silver medalists.
Earlier in the tournament, when France beat Poland in the Round of 16 after Mbappe scored twice, he was asked what it might be like to become a top scorer. But he shook his head at the question and deflected.
Mbappe said then: “If I win, I will be happy, but that is not the reason I am here.” “I am here to win the World Cup.”
France was not able to do this.
The imaginary end of Messi and Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain Teammate, finally achieving the one thing that eluded a living legend was too great to conquer.
The first 70 minutes of the match were a disaster for France. Argentina completely beat and chased Les Blues And even after the break, it looked like France was ready to give up.
Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni had a well-organised defense and kept France’s attack in check. By the end of the first half, Mbappe had only 11 touches and France had no shots – either on or off goal. Anytime Mbappe gets close to the ball, a combination of Nahuel MolinaAnd the Christian Romero And the Enzo Fernandez There was a pressure buildup.
“Our players were 100 percent fit, maybe there was some tightness,” Deschamps said. “But that’s no excuse. We didn’t show the same energy that we had in previous games. That’s why we weren’t in the game for our first hour or so.”
Then, in the 71st minute, Mbappe got his first shot. The ball flew over the crossbar, but she felt that something was brewing.
In overtime, France had the momentum. Argentina seemed flustered and briefly lost its composure. Messi had a silly mistake Eduardo Camavinga To start, the players on both sides were a bit exhausted and exhausted.
Then Argentina got a few chances. Lautaro Martinez He had successive chances that were fearlessly saved by the French captain Hugo Lloris. The game has become tighter and more stressful. Cameras showed French President Emmanuel Macron in a box with his sleeves rolled up.
In the 109th minute, Messi scored a goal and the majority of the crowd of 88,966 spectators. Martínez’s right-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area was saved by Lloris, but Messi collected the rebound and powered in for his second goal of the match. Jules Conde He tried to save it, but the ball went over the line giving Argentina the lead.
Will Argentina hold out this time, or will France bounce back?
Mbappe included the latter.
in the 116th minute, Gonzalo Montiel He had a handball in the penalty area, and Mbappe scored his third goal on the ensuing penalty kick.
“It changed things in the blink of an eye,” Deschamps said. “But that wasn’t enough.”
Kylian Mbappe equalizes it in the 116th minute
Mbappe’s penalty eventually sent the match to a penalty shootout, where France ended in failure.
Ultimately, the World Cup final ended in a penalty shootout with Argentina scoring four penalties to France’s two.
The evening ended with Messi and his teammates lifting the coveted trophy as their loyal fans, who outnumber their French counterparts by tens of thousands and turn Stade Lusail into a home feature, raised their blue and white striped shirts above their heads. In an uncontrollable celebration.
Early in the tournament, Deschamps said: “Killian can single-handedly make the difference in the match”. He did everything he could – so much so that France deserved to win as much as Argentina did. Les Blues He wanted to make history and become the third team to win back-to-back World Cup titles.
But the good thing for France is that Mbappe has many World Cups ahead of him. This was only the second. His disappointment in Qatar will surely fuel him, at least until 2026.
“It just wasn’t meant to be,” Deschamps said, later adding, “I’m not worried. I’m optimistic about the future.”
As France should be, thanks to Mbappe.
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Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball, and soccer for FOX Sports. She has previously written for Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of Strong Like a Woman, which will be published in the spring of 2022 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.
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