Mbappe's hat-trick sent the French to a penalty shoot-out
For the first time since 1986, Argentina lifted the World Cup over their heads. In the final of the tournament in Qatar, Albicelesta met with the reigning champion - the French team. The French saved themselves twice in this meeting, but there was not enough emotion for a penalty shootout.
The teams started their way to the decisive matches at the World Cup in neighboring groups and could meet in the playoffs already in the 1/8 finals. The Argentines played in group "C" with Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, beat the Poles and the Mexicans with the same score 2:0 and sensationally lost to the Saudis in the very first match of the tournament - 1:2. But six points were enough to take first place in their quartet. In the 1/8 finals, albicelesta beat Australia (2:1), in the quarterfinals - the Netherlands (regular time ended in a draw 2:2, the outcome was decided on penalties - 4:3), in the semifinals - Croatia (3:0).
The French in the quartet "D" beat Australia (4:1) and Denmark (2:1), and in the second round they lost to Tunisia - 0:1. The playoffs went for the team of Didier Deschamps at first glance almost without nerves: Poland (3:1), England (2:1) and Morocco (2:0) were beaten. However, with both the British and the Moroccans, there were stretches when the French could not find themselves.
But the decisive game and did become the height of the drama. From the first minutes, Argentina took over the initiative. It seemed that the French had not coped with the pressure of the decisive match a little. At the 21st minute, Dembele did not allow di Maria to turn around in the penalty area, hitting the Argentinean in the legs - this is a penalty! Messi approached the point and sent the ball to the right corner from himself. Lloris jumped to the left.
And very soon, di Maria doubled the advantage of the Argentines: Messi played on the right flank to McAllister, who rolled to the far post on di Maria, who outplayed the goalkeeper and sent the ball into the net - 2:0!
The French urgently needed to come up with something. Deschamps, already at the end of the first half, replaced the main forwards - Giroud and Dembele. He remained on the field of Mbappe, which, as it seemed to many fans of the tricolor, was the main trump card of the French. But in the first half, they did not strike a single shot on target in Argentina.
But in the second half the situation for the French did not immediately get better. The Argentines stopped actively attacking, but continued to act confidently on the defensive. It seemed that the match would end with a score of 2:0, and Argentina would lift the coveted trophy over its head.
But that was until the 80th minute, when Otamendi dropped Colo-Muani in the penalty area. Mbappe sent the ball into the net from the spot - 2:1. A minute later, France leveled. And the same Mbappe did it. And now the initiative was at the feet of the tricolors. The Argentines practically stopped going on the attack, being content with rare counterattacks. But the remaining minutes were enough to survive and put the game into overtime. This is the fourth time in the last five world championships that the winner of gold has not been identified in the main 90 minutes. Only in Russia, the French defeated the Croats without extra time.
In the first extra half, the Argentines took the lead. Martinez received the ball on the right edge of someone else's penalty area and fired right at Lloris, who hit the ball right at Messi. He shot at the center and hit the opponent, but he knocked the ball out from behind the goal line. The automatic goal detection system worked - 3:2! And if the golden goal rule had not been canceled, then the Argentines would have already raised the World Cup over their heads. But France still had a chance.
And they took advantage of it. Two minutes before the end of the second extra half, the Polish referee Marciniak pointed to the spot for the third time for Montiel's handball. Mbappe literally shot the gates of Martinez - 3:3!
But the French did not have enough emotions for a decisive skirmish. The tricolors approached the point four times, but scored only twice: Martinez managed to cope with Coman's shot, and Chuameni shot wide. But the Argentines did not miss even once. And all the same Montiel, who could well consider himself to blame for the fact that the French equalized, put an end to the match. Argentina is the 2022 World Champion!
Argentina - France - 3:3 (2:0, 0:2, 0:0, 1:1), pen. 4:2.
December 18th. Lusail. Lusail Stadium.
Referee - Marciniak (Poland).
Argentina: E. Martinez, Molina (Montiel, 91), Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico (Dybala, 120+1), di Maria (Acuña, 64), de Paul (Paredes, 102), E. Fernandez, McAllister (Pezzella, 106), Messi, Alvarez (L. Martinez, 103).
France: Lloris, Yupamecano, Varane (Conate 113), T. Hernandez (Camavinga 71), Kunde (Disasi 120+1), Tchouameny, Rabiot (Fofana 96), Griezmann (Coman 71), Giroud (Thuram) , 41), Dembele (Colo-Mouani, 41), Mbappe.
Goals: 1:0 Messi (23, pen.), 2:0 di Maria (36), 2:1 Mbappe (80, pen.), 2:2 Mbappe (81), 3:2 Messi (108), Mbappe (118 pen.)
Penalty shootout: 0:1 Mbappe, 1:1 Messi, 1:1 Coman (goalkeeper), 1:2 Dybala, 1:2 Tchuameni (by), 1:3 Paredes, 2:3 Colo-Mouani, 2:4 Montiel
Booked: Fernandez (45+7), Acuña (90+8), Peredes (114), Montiel (117), Martinez (120+1) - Rabiot (55), Thuram (87), Giroud (90+5)