FIFA World Cup 2018 Final: France’s Road to the Finalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/fifa/fifa-world-cup-2018-final-france-road-to-the-final-5259531/

FIFA World Cup 2018 Final: France’s Road to the Final

France vs Croatia, FIFA Football World Cup 2018 Final: After winning the coveted trophy in 1998, 20 years later Les Bleus are once again on the cusp of history

 FIFA World Cup 2018 Final: France will be taking part in their third World Cup finals. (Source: Reuters)

The 2018 FIFA World Cup final will see France take on Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. After winning the coveted trophy in 1998, 20 years later Les Bleus are once again at the cusp of history as they enter their third World Cup final. Here is a look back at France’s route to the showpiece game.

Group Stage (Group C)

France 2-1 Australia | Kazan, June 16

In their opening fixture, France secured a vital win courtesy of VAR which came into use for the first time in the 2018 edition of the World Cup. Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba found the net for France while Mile Jedinak scored the only goal for the Socceroos.

France 1-0 Peru | Ekaterinburg, June 21

FIFA World Cup 2018 Final: France beat Peru 1-0. (Source: File)

This match saw a nervy France pick up an unconvincing win as Kylian Mbappe scored the goal of the contest. Mbappe’s tap-in after 34 minutes proved decisive as the French secured a place in the last-16 while Peru were knocked out of the competition.

Denmark 0-0 France | Moscow, June 26

In a dull encounter, France and Denmark played out a goalless draw. However, the result was enough to ensure both the sides move into the next round. With qualification secure and the likes of Pogba, Mbappe rested it was always going to a tough ask for France to go all out in this match. It was the first goalless game of the tournament.

Round of 16
France 4-3 Argentina | Kazan, June 30

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In a game that somehow went right down to the wire, it was an ‘Mbappe Show’ from the word go as the 19-year-old single-handedly destroyed the Argentine defence to take France into the quarters. At half-time, the game was locked at 1-1. An early second-half goal by Mercado put Argentina into the lead before Pavard equalised with a stunning volley. But Mbappe’s twin strikes in five minutes sealed the fate for his side.

Quarter-finals
Uruguay 0-2 France | Nizhny Novgorod, July 6

France outplayed Uruguay 2-0 to sail into the semis. Raphael Varane and Antoinne Griezmann scored one goal each as France reached their sixth World Cup semi-final.

Semi-finals
France 1-0 Belgium | Saint Petersburg, July 10

france vs belgium
 FIFA World Cup 2018 Final: Samuel Umtiti’s winner against Belgium was only his third goal for France.. (Reuters Photo)

Samuel Umtiti’s header was enough for France to storm into the World Cup final. While the match was an evenly contested tactical battle, it was Umtiti who scored in the 51st minute to produced the decisive moment of the match. The French defence then stayed firm to ensure they would be staying on in Russia for the Moscow showdown.

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