Croatia stand between Mbappes France and World Cup glory

The teams will meet at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

That goal left Croatia reeling, and France appeared out of sight when Mbappe became the first teenager since Pele in 1954 to score in a World Cup final, rifling an effort past Subasic from range. This is the first trip to the final for Croatia; France won it in 1998 and were runners-up in 2006.

After a period of France domination, Croatia got their equaliser through a wonderful strike from Perisic on 29 minutes.

But it was Mbappe who put the match out of reach with a furious passage of play in the second half.

Some were seen lifting a mock World Cup trophy, and will hope team captain Luka Modric lifts the real thing in Moscow later in the day. "We must stay calm, we must have confidence and we must concentrate - these are the three words we've have been focussing on to get them ready for the final".

But Croatia had to battle from a goal down in all three of their knockout matches to beat Denmark, Russia and England.

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Croatia will become the sixth team to enter a final under these conditions, with two - England and France - having beaten a previous champion the first time they reached a final. It was the 12th own goal of the tournament.

With the Jules Rimet trophy on the line, this thrilling winner-take-all contest between France and Croatia is one that fans are super thrilled about.

Mbappe scored the fourth from outside the box six minutes later to match Griezmann on four goals before Lloris gifted Croatia their second in the 69th, taking up a back-pass and then losing the ball to Mandzukic who scored from short range.

And the Croatians are confident most of the world will be supporting them.

Referee Nista Pitana missed the handball but VAR instructed him to look at a pitch-side TV monitor and he made the correct call, awarding a penalty to France which Griezmann slotted home to make it 2-1. The midfielder's right-footed shot was blocked but he coolly curved the rebound in with his left. The highly anticipated match pits two of the most talented national teams on the planet against each other on the biggest stage possible. We merit it. I am very happy for this team.

  • Salvatore Jensen