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Mbappe hat-trick in vain as Messi’s Argentina crown FIFA WC champions


Source: AFP

LUSAIL: Lionel Messi’s dream of winning the FIFA World Cup has been fulfilled with a dramatic victory over the defending champions France after the penalty shoot-out here at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

The nail-biting final of the world cup had a dream ending for Argentina’s star Messi, who stood up at the most crucial moment of his career with two timely strikes before opening the scoring for his team in the penalty shoot-out.

Messi had given Argentina the lead from the penalty spot in the first half before Angel Di Maria made it 2-0.

It appeared to be a straightforward win for Argentina until Kylian Mbappe struck twice in just 97 seconds to force the match into extra time.

Messi then appeared to have done it once and for all when he converted a rebound in the 109th minute, only for Mbappe to score from another spot-kick to tie the game at 3-3 and force a shoot-out.

With his third goal of the night, Mbappe became the first player since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966 to net a World Cup final hat-trick.

Messi and Mbappe both kept fighting for their teams in the penalty shoot-out as they opened the scoring with precisely placed strikes.

The defending champions, however, lost the plot as Kingsley Coman’s next kick for France was saved and Aurelien Tchouameni then crucially missed the target and the final diverted into Argentina’s favour.

Paulo Dybala and Leandro Paredes successfully netted the ball from the spot before Gonzalo Montiel fired the world cup winning penalty for Messi’s Argentina.

It is pertinent to mention that Argentina were crowned world champions for the first time after 1986 and this is their third world title overall.

READ: FIFA World Cup Final: Messi on road to greatness with six records in sight

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