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Argentina claims World Cup glory on penalties

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Argentina players celebrate after receiving the World Cup
Argentina players celebrate after receiving the World Cup

Argentina won the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they edged out the defending champions France 4-2 in a penalty shootout final played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha, Qatar yesterday.

The final ended in a 2-2 draw after the regulation time and the scores were level once again 3-3 even after extra time with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe doing the honours in the latter stages.

Individual award winners (from left): Enzo Fernandez,
 Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martinez and Kylian Mbappé.  

But in the penalty shootout, Argentina got their act together well and netted four goals while France managed to score only two goals during this shootout.

Earlier, France came from two goals down to level the scores at 2-2 just before the final whistle with two superb goals inside 90- seconds by Kylian Mbappe.

Argentina were cruising along against a French side who looked to have serious issues. But one penalty changed it as Mbappe dispatched it and then scored a stunning volley later to turn it around.

This is the shortest gap between two goals in a World Cup final since Opta have recorded exact goal times in 1966.

France were dead and buried, anonymous for 80 minutes, with Argentina in cruise control towards Messi’s destiny but Mbappe changed the narrative and dragged his nation back from the abyss.

Argentina dominated the first half and scored twice through a penalty from Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria in the 23rd minute and 36th minute respectively.

In fact, Messi became the first player in World Cup history to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final in a single edition of the tournament.

Argentina put on a performance befitting of such an occasion, with and without the ball. They were compact, aggressive, and gritty when France tried to play then found the quality in key moments to grab the goals. Messi opened the scoring from the spot before Di Maria – the outstanding player – scored a beautiful goal on the counter-attack, which was one of the great World Cup final goals.

Di Maria was terrific, and he played his part to perfection. He was razor sharp down the left and caused France problem after problem. (C.D)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Individual Awards

* Player of the Tournament (Golden Ball) – Lionel Messi

* Young Player of the Tournament – Enzo Fernandez

* Top Goal Scorer (Golden Boot) – Kylian Mbappe (eight goals)

* Best Goalkeeper (Golden Glove) – Emiliano Martinez

Monday, December 19, 2022 – 01:00

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