World Cup 2022 final: Argentina vs France goes to penalties, Messi lifts trophy

Ending in a dramatic penalty shootout, Argentina vs France saw the former lifting their first World Cup since 1986. Here’s how the dramatic final of the 2022 Qatar World Cup tournament unfolded.

Starting XI:changes for both teams 

Lionel Scaloni made just one change from his semi-final side. Angel Di Maria was welcomed back into the starting XI. He replaced Leandro Paredes

Elsewhere Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel returned to the Argentinian bench after being suspended. 

France’s head coach, Didier Deschamps, also made two changes from his semi-final-winning side.

Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Raibot were included in the French starting XI. Youssouf Fofana and Ibrahima Konate were dropped to the bench. 

First half: France pays the penalty price while Argentina achieve all the firsts

Excitingly, Argentina almost opened the scoreline in the first three minutes. Rodrigo De Paul’s ball was squared at Hugo Lloris with some force. However, the French captain got his hands around it.

It wasn’t until the 17th that France had their first on-target chance. After De Paul floored Hernandez, Les Bleus were given a free kick. 

Antoine Griezmann’s excellent delivery got a French head to the ball. However, there was too much power on the diving header.

In the 21st minute, Argentina was given a penalty. Ousmane Dembele nudged Di Maria before clipping his ankle in the six-yard box. Due to being sent flying, Captain Lionel Messi was called upon to take the penalty. 

Cool and collected, Messi slotted the ball past Lloris – sending Argentina up 1-0.

Lionel Messi becomes first man to score in all four World Cup knockout stages  

The goal makes Messi the first man to score in all four World Cup knockout stages. He joins ex-US international Carli Lloyd who was the first player to do it.

Pele and Jairzinho’s efforts haven’t been erased. However, they aren’t included in this statistic as when they participated in their World Cups, there were only three knockout stages. 

In the 36th, Argentina solidified their lead with a Di Maria strike. After Upamecano lost the ball, Messi was quick to pick it up.

Messi passed it out to Alexis Mac Allister. The Brighton midfielder popped it to Di Maria, who breezed it past Lloris. Argentina 2-0 France.

Deschamps then attempted to rejuvenate his side with a double change. Penalty culprit Dembele was swapped for Randal Kolo Muani. Oliver Giroud was then subbed out for Marcus Thuram. 

However, despite six minutes of added time and a double change, France headed into the break 2-0 down. 

Argentina went into half-time with two goals and a yellow card. The latter was given to Enzo Fernandez in the last moments of the first half due to flooring Kolo Muani.

Second half:

Following the break, Argentina vs France was punctured with Argentinian chances. In the 50th, Di Maria picked out De Paul, who then shot a volley straight into the hands of Lloris. 

Again the Argentinians came in the 59th with Julian Alvarez. However, the French captain managed to get a hand on it. 

Following the failed shots, Scaloni made his first change of the game. He took off striker Di Maria and replaced him with Marcos Acuna

In the 70th, Deschamps countered with another double substitution. Griezmann made way for Kingsley Coman, while Hernandez was swapped with Eduardo Camavinga. 

Mbappe puts France back in the game

In the 79th, France was handed a lifeline in the form of a penalty. Kolo Muani was floored by Nicolas Otamendi, earning France a much-needed penalty!

Kylian Mbappe stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the Argentinian net.

97 seconds later, Mbappe scored his second goal in the 2022 World Cup final. 

The PSG striker and Thuram doubled up before the former hit a volley while unbalanced. Despite going to the floor, Mbappe’s ball evaded Emiliano Martinez, allowing France to equalise. 2-2!

Following his assist, Thuram became the second French player to be booked. He was shown a yellow due to diving in the box in the 87th.

Just before added time, Argentina made another chance. Nahuel Molina was replaced by Gonzalo Montiel. 

Eight minutes were added, which saw Giroud being booked from the bench. He was seemingly unhappy about a refereeing decision, leading to the man in question showing him a yellow. 

Mirroring the final moments of the first half, an Argentinian was then booked. Acuna brought down Coman in an attempt to stop a breakaway. He was shown a yellow before extra time was approved.

Extra time first-half:

France was forced to make a change in the first minutes of extra time. Rabiot came off the pitch with a possible concussion. The midfielder was replaced with Fofana. 

Argentina then made a double change in the 102nd, bringing Leandro Paredes and Lautaro Martinez on for De Paul and Alvarez.

Despite the substitutions, it was still 2-2 at half-time in extra time.

Extra time second-half: 

A dramatic 15 minutes in Argentina vs France saw Messi edging his nation forward in the 108th. After a VAR check, Messi was granted the touch-in, setting the scoreline at 3-3.

France was then forced to substitute Raphael Varane for Konate after the former hurt himself stopping an Argentinian ball. Scaloni then made his change with Mac Allister making way for German Pezzella. 

The intensity didn’t cease, however. Mbappe equalised again in the 118th minute. 

France was granted another penalty after a case of handball. Mbappe sealed the deal to put his team back in the game by scoring a hat-trick. 

Despite Kolo Muani coming one-on-one with Martinez, the second half of extra time ended 3-3. This forced a World Cup final penalty shootout.

World Cup final 2022 penalties

Despite Martinez being booked during the Argentina vs France penalty shootout, the Aston Villa goalkeeper saved two out of four French penalties. 

Aurelien Tchouameni and Coman missed their strikes for France, while Mbappe and Kolo Muani netted theirs.

However, all four of the Argentinian penalty-takers found their targets. Messi took his first, followed by Paulo Dybala, Paredes and Montiel.

How did the World Cup 2022 end?

Argentina vs France ended 3 (4) – 3 (2). The former lifted the 2022 World Cup for the first time since 1986. France was also awarded second-place medals at the Qatar tournament. 

Fernandez was awarded the Young Player of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Martinez was also awarded the Golden Glove Award.

Mbappe was deservedly given the Golden Boot. The Best Player of the Tournament was then awarded to Messi. 

The final score reads Argentina vs France 4-2 penalties. 

Featured image credit: Sky Sports/Getty Images