Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

How to Watch the France vs

How to Watch the France vs

The last time the two nations met in a World Cup was in the 1998 semi-final when two Lilian Thuram goals sunk a Croatian side playing in their first World Cup as an independent nation.

Deschamps' team is loaded with talent for the final - his squad boasts some of the top players in the world and is well-represented throughout Europe's top leagues - but they still aren't the continent's best when it comes to reaching major tournament finals, trailing both Germany, with 14, and Italy, with nine.

Most consider France to be the favorite for the match at the Luzhniki Stadium, just like two years ago when the country's national team faced Portugal in the European Championship final at home.

Antoine Griezmann rolled home the spot-kick to make it 2-1 to France with what was, tellingly, their only shot of any variety in an otherwise underwhelming opening 45 minutes from the favourites.

After 63 games, it is finally here - the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

France coach Didier Deschamps has fielded the same starting line-up in every knockout-round match except the quarter-final against Uruguay when Blaise Matuidi was suspended and replaced by Corentin Tolisso.

Pavard has been such a revelation for France at FIFA World Cup 2018
Pavard has been such a revelation for France at FIFA World Cup 2018

France defender Samuel Umtiti celebrates after scoring the decisive goal against Belgium in their World Cup semi-final in Saint Petersburg.

This game encapsulated what has been an incredible tournament in Russian Federation as we had superb goals, VAR controversy and intriguing tactical battles.

Then they hit form, sweeping aside Argentina in a match which announced to the world that Mbappe is set to be an global superstar as he scored twice and outshone Lionel Messi. "If I get that star, I don't care about how we play", the 27-year-old said. He is the second Argentinian referee to participate in two World Cups after Norberto Coerezza, who oversaw two games in 1970 and one in 1978. Whoever gets the upper hand in the midfield battle will be the team lifting the trophy later on today.

But from there, France would take a lead that they refused to give up for the rest of the match. Three times they fell behind on their run to Moscow; three times they fought back. That will undoubtedly take its toll.

But France's defense, so impressive all tournament, held and they went 3-1 up on the hour as Mbappe and Griezmann combined to set up Pogba on the edge of the box.

The Les Bleus have some stellar names in their midst. An own goal from Nigerias Oghenekaro Etebo and a Luka Modric penalty did the damage, but Nigeria did actually finish the match having had more attempts than their opponents.

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