FIFA World Cup 2018 Final, France vs Croatia: Countdown to ultimate showdown begins!

| Last Updated:

New Delhi:

After 63 games and an exiting tournament full of surprises it comes down to France and Croatia to decide the winner of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

France’s road to the final saw them comfortably qualify through Group C before they saw off Argentina (4-3) in a thriller, and then Uruguay (2-0) in the quarters.

They emerged victorious from a tough semi against Belgium (1-0), harnessing their flair to grind out the win thanks in part to the superb Hugo Lloris in goal. That win against Belgium marked their tenth game unbeaten overall (W8, D2).

This will be France’s second consecutive major final after they lost to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016, and their third World Cup final appearance – winning once in 1998 when coach Didier Deschamps was captain.

Deschamps could become only the third man after Brazilian Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer to win the WC as both a player and coach.

After easily qualifying through Group D, including a 3-0 demolition of Argentina, Croatia’s path to the final has been much more fraught.

Whilst they saw off England 2-1 in the semi with an extra-time goal by Mario Mandzukic, their previous two knockout games (Russia, Denmark) both ended in penalty shootout wins.

Quite how much those three extra-time wins have taken out of Croatia will be seen on the deciding day, but the relatively small Balkan state won’t lack for passion as they play their first major final ever and attempt to become the second smallest nation to win the WC after Uruguay.

First Published: