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Argentina Wins World Cup over France

Sports

Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022, Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates after winning the World Cup. | Image by Kai Pfaffenbach, Reuters

The 2022 FIFA World Cup Final was filled with drama as Argentina secured the nation’s first World Cup trophy since 1986 with a victory over France in the final. Argentina won 4-2 on penalty kicks after the game ended in regular time with a tie score of 2-2. France and Argentina scored goals in overtime before advancing to the shootout. 

WHAT TO KNOW

Argentina’s Lionel Messi was the game star, scoring two of three goals and hitting a solid penalty score to open the shootout period. Messi became the first player in World Cup history to score a goal in every round of the competition. 

Messi was dueling against the best player in French history, Kylian Mbappe, who earned a hat trick in the final, scoring two penalty kicks and a goal in regular time. Mbappe scored eight goals in the competition and is the 2022 World Cup Golden Boot winner. Still, his historic performance was not enough to triumph over the controlled and aggressive play of the Argentinian team.

BY THE NUMBERS

Argentina outshot France 2-1 and set the tone for the game early by pressing the French defense and challenging goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Messi scored the first goal on a penalty kick at the 23-minute point. Messi beat Lloris with a stutter shot to the left while Lloris went right and could only watch as the ball went to the back of the net.

Argentina took a 2-0 lead at the 36-minute mark on a breakdown that started with an Argentina takeaway. The fast break saw a combination of touch passes from Messi to Alexis Mac Allister, who fed Angel Di Maria. Di Maria beat Lloris on the shot. 

France returned with Mbappe’s first score of the game, which came at the 80-minute mark after an Argentina penalty in the box. Mbappe beat goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to pull France within one score. Just one minute later, Mbappe knocked a shot in off a volley to equalize. 

The first overtime period was a back-and-forth contest that did not break the tie. Still, into the second period, Argentina opened a lead with a dramatic surge in an offense that saw Lloris make a brilliant save only to have the ball chip back to Argentina for the follow-up. The ball cleared the front line before France could clear the shot, and the goal was confirmed after a review.

At the 116-minute mark, a shot by Mbappe struck Argentina’s Gonzalo Montiel in the arm to earn a penalty kick. Mbappe buried the shot to tie and set the stage for a dramatic penalty shootout finish.

On penalties, Argentina struck four straight, starting with a win by Messi and finishing with a score by Montiel, while France missed the second and third tries, surrendering the contest 4-2 on penalties.

WHO SAID?

Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez who made an incredible late-game save to prevent a French goal, said: “There is nothing to thank me for. Again, we had to suffer. We had it under control, two bad goals, and they equalized. They almost scored two goals and then I made that save. This is my dream. I am speechless.”

UP NEXT

Argentina will celebrate a stunning and historic victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after denying the French earning back-to-back victories. The next World Cup will be held in 2026 and hosted in North America. Games are to be played in several locations, including Dallas. 

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