Football | Argentina triumph on penalties to win World Cup
Argentina have beaten France in a penalty shootout to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The dramatic final finished 3-3 after extra time, with Lionel Messi scoring twice for Argentina and Kylian Mbappe netting a hat-trick for France at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria saw Argentina lead 2-0 with 10 minutes of normal time to play, but a brace from Mbappe sent the game to extra time.
Messi fired Lionel Scaloni's men ahead again in the 108th minute, before Mbappe's second penalty 10 minutes later sent the pulsating final to a shootout.
Argentina triumphed 4-2 in the shootout, with Gonzalo Montiel converting the winning penalty after Kingsley Coman saw his effort saved by Emiliano Martinez and Aurelien Tchouameni dragged his shot wide.
Mbappe and Messi each scored their country's first spot kick, with Paulo Dybala and Leandro Paredes also scoring from 12 yards to give Argentina a huge advantage as Coman and Tchouameni missed France's second and third penalties respectively.
Messi, who received the Golden Ball for his performances at the tournament, lifted the World Cup trophy as Argentina won the tournament for the third time in their history.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has finally added the one trophy that had eluded him to his glittering CV, further cementing his status as the greatest footballer of all time.
It was Messi who gave Argentina the lead from the penalty spot with an emphatic finish in the 23rd minute after Ousmane Dembele was adjudged to have tripped Ange Di Maria in the box.
Scaloni's side doubled their lead in the 36th minute with a stunning team goal. Messi produced a clever flick and pass to find Julian Alvarez down the right. Alvarez found the marauding Alexis MacAllister through the middle.
Brighton midfielder MacAllister played a perfect pass into the path of the onrushing Di Maria, who swept a clinical finish past Hugo Lloris to make it 2-0.
The South American side dominated the first half, with Didier Deschamps' reigning champions France struggling to gain any sort of foothold in the game. Deschamps hauled Olivier Giroud and Dembele off after 41 minutes, turning to Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram to inject some life into the limp French attack.
France had to wait until the 80th minute to get on the scoresheet, with Mbappe keeping his cool to beat Martinez after Nicolas Otamendi's clumsy foul on the lively Kolo Muani inside the area.
Martinez guessed the right way, and got a hand to Mbappe's low penalty, but was unable to prevent the ball from finding the bottom corner.
Mbappe drew Les Bleus level 90 seconds later with a stunning volley after a quick one-two with Thuram on the edge of the box, ensuring a nervy finale in Doha.
Messi made. it3-2 in the 108th minute, volleying in a rebound from a powerful Lautaro Martinez shot from close range, with Jules Kounde unsuccessfully clearing the ball from behind the line.
After a tense VAR check, the goal was correctly awarded.
France won their second penalty of the game in the 118th minute when Mbappe's shot struck Montiel on the arm.
The PSG attacker duly dispatched another fine penalty to draw France level yet again.
Kolo Muani then had a glorious chance to win it for France at the death, but Martinez but a wonderful save with his legs to deny the attacker's powerful strike.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper also played an important role in the shootout, helping his country to win their first World Cup since 1986.
More to follow...