July 16, 2018 07:53 AM NPT
July 16: France clinched its second World Cup title with a 4-2 win over Croatia in a dramatic final in Moscow featuring a series of firsts and a pitch invasion orchestrated by Russian protest group Pussy Riot.
After the match, a host of awards were handed out to the top performers of the tournament.
Young Player of the Tournament: Kylian Mbappe, France
Golden Ball (Best Player of the Tournament): Luka Modric, Croatia
Golden Boot (Top-scorer of the Tournament): Harry Kane, England (Six Goals)
Golden Glove (Best Goal-Keeper of the Tournament): Thibaut Courtois, Belgium
France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final. The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head was the 12th of the tournament. That's double the previous World Cup record of six.
Croatia rallied to equalize on a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic, but France took the lead right back when Perisic handled the ball in the area. Argentine referee Nestor Pitana initially didn't call the handball but awarded the spot kick after a video review. Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty to put France back in front.
Four pitch invaders disrupted the game in the 52nd minute for about a minute before being dragged away by security and police. Punk rock group Pussy Riot quickly claimed responsibility for the pitch invasion via social media, saying it was a protest aimed at ending illegal arrests of protesters and to allow political competition in Russia.
Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead with goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes before Mario Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th. Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final. For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.