Despite pale performance: The second final reissue goes to France
World Champion France has also won the second relaunch of the World Cup Final 2018. With far superior Croats, the Tricolore team ended up with a rather flattering 2-1 victory – also thanks to the individual quality of their stars.
A total of only eight players who had started at the 2018 World Cup Final were on the pitch at the second relay in Zagreb, four on each side: Lloris, Varane, Mbappé and Griezmann on the one hand, Vida, Lovren, Modric and Perisic on the other. Both coaches rotated properly at the end of the international season. For example, France’s coach Didier Deschamps put Pogba and the two Bavarian defenders Pavard and Hernandez on the bench, Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalic initially renounced Bundesliga goalscorer Kramaric.
Griezmann meets worth seeing – Mbappé shoots curiously
But not all the top stars were missing on the field. Griezmann, for example, made an impressive appearance at an early stage: a Mendy flank, weakly repelled by Vida, landed at the feet of the Barça attacker, who welded the ball into the meshes via the lower edge of the slat – a great finish to the early lead for the world champion (8th). A little later Mbappé – again after an evil defence error by the Croatians – would have had to set the ball to 2-0 for France, but after Martial had prepared the ball passed the empty goal (15th).
The Croats had the biggest defensive problems with the fast French attackers in the early stages – and lucky that referee Kuipers did not decide on penalties after a duel between Vida and Martial (19th). With increasing playing time, however, the Dalic elf increased steadily and became more and more the leading team. Perisic provided a free kick for a first dangerous approach (25th), then Pasalic offered himself the great opportunity to compensate – Lloris parried brilliantly with his foot (30th
). After his promising start, the world champion barely appeared offensively and withdrew far away. It was only shortly before the half-time whistle that Lenglet scored a headball chance (45th) after a Griezmann free kick.
France efficient: Mbappé meets for victory