Xtra Time Web Desk: Despite a brilliant hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe, reigning world champions France lost 2-4 on penalty shootout against Argentina in the final of FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday. The score after extra time was 3-3 with both sides producing outstanding football.
Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead from a penalty in 23rd minute. Angel Di Maria was tripped inside the box by Osumane Dembele. The Juventus veteran extended the lead for Albiceleste in the 36th minute much to the joy of a packed stadium dominated by Argentina fans.
Didier Deschamps’ side were totally outplayed by the Latin American giants until a moment of brilliant from Paris Saint Germain star Kylian Mbappe towards the final 10 minutes of the regulation time. He scored twice in a span of 2 minutes to see the scores level.
France was awarded a penalty in the 79th minute after Kolo Muani was brought down clumsily by Nicolas Otamendi inside the box. Mbappe stepped up and just about managed to fire home into the net past Emiliano Martinez.
France’s talismanic striker drew the holder’s level barely a minute after bagging his first, playing a neat one-two with Thuram and unleashing a thunderous volley into the far corner to leave the Argentina contingent shell-shocked. The score remained 2-2 after the end of regulation time.
Argentina restored the lead in the 109th minute as a slick passing move ended with Lloris saving Martinez’s powerful attempt from a tight angle, and Messi scoring from rebound.
Just when it looked like the result will stay 3-2 in favour of Argentina, France equalized through Mbappe in the 118th minute. Montiel blocked Mbappe’s shot with his arm inside the area, and the Paris Saint-Germain attacker clinically completed his hat trick from the spot.
Mbappe and Messi both converted from 12 yards before Martinez dived to his right to keep out Coman, and Paulo Dybala confidently rolled his effort down the middle to hand Argentina an early advantage. Tchouameni dragged France’s next spot kick wide while Leandro Paredes effort proved too powerful for Lloris to keep out.
Argentina was only one spot kick away from glory, and Kolo Muani kept France alive with a rocket down the middle, but Montiel coolly sent Lloris the wrong way to spark tears of joy and cheers of jubilation for those in blue and white.