NEW DELHI: Argentina star Lionel Messi has finally crowned his record-breaking career by winning the FIFA World Cup for the first time on his farewell to the tournament. The summit clash went to the wire with Argentina emerging victorious 4-2 in a penalty shootout against France on Sunday in Qatar.
This is Argentina’s third World Cup title since the Diego Maradona-inspired victory in Mexico City in 1986. They had won their maiden title in 1978.
The match turned out to be the best World Cup final ever with both sides were locked at 2-2 at the end of the regulation time. The extra time also saw a goal from both Argentina and France that forced the match into the penalty shootout.
Let’s relive how the action unfolded:
* Argentina earned the penalty when Angel Di Maria was fouled by Ousmane Dembele and Messi made no mistake in converting it in the 23rd minute. He also became the first player to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final in a single edition of the World Cup.
* Di Maria extended the lead with his 36th-minute strike that left the South American side in a commanding position at the break.
* Argentina seemed to be cruising with a comfortable 2-0 lead but made a mess by conceding a penalty and Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring for France in the 80th minute.
* Mbappe inspired a dramatic comeback when he volleyed in an equaliser a minute later to take the game to extra time.
* Argentina regained the lead in the 108th minute when Lautaro Martinez smashed a shot at Hugo Lloris and Messi pounced on the rebound, technology confirming the ball had crossed the line.
* But Mbappe completed his hat-trick in the 118th with another spot-kick, becoming only the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. Match headed for the penalty shootout.
Penalty Shootout
Mbappe opened the penalty shootout with a successful conversion before Messi did for Argentina.
As France missed its next two attempts against goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, Argentina surged to the decisive 4-2 finish with penalty kicks from Paulo Dybala, Leandro Paredes and Gonzalo Montiel.





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