After a 3-3 draw in the championship match, Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties to win the 2022 World Cup at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday.
Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria gave Argentina an early two-goal advantage, but holders France responded spectacularly with two goals from Kylian Mbappe. Argentina took the lead in extra time thanks to a goal from Messi, and the game went to a penalty shootout when Mbappe completed his hat trick from the spot.
As a result, Messi, who was competing in his record-tying 26th and last World Cup game, achieves a fairy-tale finish by becoming the first player to ever hold the cup, the single significant honor that had escaped him throughout his career.
Argentina has won the World Cup three times, first in 1978 and then in 1986.
“I find it incomprehensible that we endured such hardship in a flawless game. Unbelievable, but this team always responds, “Lionel Scaloni, the head coach of Argentina, stated.
“I’m pleased with the job they did. This group is intriguing. You feel upset after the blows and draws we had today. I want to encourage everyone to take pleasure in this historic occasion for our nation.”
France, the 2018 World Cup champion, was unsuccessful in their attempt to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups.
The lone adjustment for Argentina from the semifinal victory over Croatia was the selection of Di Maria over Leandro Paredes. Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot were starting for France after missing their semifinal victory against Morocco due to an illness that the team was dealing with this week.
Mbappe rarely touched the left wing in the early going for France, who came out slow. In the meantime, his Argentinean counterpart Di Maria looked dangerous and was awarded a penalty after collapsing under a careless challenge from France’s Ousmane Dembele on minute 21. Messi calmly put the ball into the bottom-left corner after stepping up to make the conversion.
Soon after, Di Maria made another fantastic play. This time, Messi released midfielder Alexis Mac Allister down the right side, and then he crossed the ball to a waiting Di Maria, who fired past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Di Maria scored for Argentina in their third straight final, their previous goal coming in the 2021 Copa America final victory over Brazil.
By 41 minutes, Deschamps had made his first changes, replacing Olivier Giroud and Dembele with Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram due to France’s unexpectedly poor offensive performance.
For the majority of the second half, Argentina maintained their lead, but France, who did not take a shot until the 71st minute, came alive in the final stages and were rewarded when substitute Kolo Muani won a penalty with just over ten minutes left and Mbappe converted it.
Mbappe scored once more in the space of 97 seconds after France recovered the ball back at the halfway line. He volleyed the ball into the bottom right corner after receiving a floating pass on the edge of the box.
Argentina’s once-vibrant offensive was subsequently deflated as they clung on for dear life until Messi, practically with the last kick of regulation time, hit an effort from 25 yards that forced Lloris into a remarkable save, sending the game to extra time.
There was more drama to come. When Mbappe converted a penalty after Gonzalo Montiel was fouled, Argentina thought they had won the match when Messi pounced to slot in a Lloris save. However, France tied the score once more before time was up, forcing a shootout.
The goal, Mbappe’s ninth in Qatar, helped him defeat Messi for the tournament’s Golden Boot title and made him only the second person ever to achieve a hat trick in a World Cup final.
After Mbappe and Messi successfully converted the first two penalties, Emiliano Martinez of Argentina stopped the following two French attempts from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni. Then Montiel stepped up and successfully converted to help Argentina win 4-2 on penalties.