Made history by becoming the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup final, then added to that by scoring at the right end, which only served to reaffirm his status as a big-game player. Put in fantastic work defensively and in the press, winning so many challenges.
A FIFA World Cup Final is the culmination of the biggest sports saga; ergo the drama, the adrenaline, the hopes, the energy and the emotions are on an all time high! The final between France and Croatia saw all this and so much more. In a game that marked the end of an unbelievable Tournament, one man from Dalic’s team has managed to make headlines: Mario Mandzukic.
The Croatian striker was crucial in the last game against England in the semi-finals that earned Croatia its first Final by scoring in the extra time. However, in the high octane Final, Mandzukic became the first ever player to score an own goal in a World Cup Final and the first one after 40 years to score both an own goal as well as a goal in a single match! Before him, this feat was achieved by Netherlands player Ernie Brandts in a match against Italy in 1978 which Netherlands won 2-1.
An attempt to defend the nets from Antoine Griezmann’s free kick in the 18th minute turned out to be a miscalculation as Mandzukic rose the highest but could barely touch the ball and that slight touch deflected the ball from the grasp of Danijel Subasic and gave French the lead!
While the lead was equalized by Ivan Perisic, French went ahead and scored after being awarded a penalty spot from a spot kick. The second half saw brilliant goals from Pogba and Mbappe making it a point of no return for Croatia. However, Mandzukic redeemed himself somewhat by grabbing a huge miscalculation by Hugo Lloris and turning it into opportunity! Mandzukic however, has taken the tally of own goals in this World Cup to 12 which is exactly double of the record of 6 own goals set in the 1998 World Cup.
Thus, this match had it all, own goals, penalty, yellow cards, handball and of course Mandzukic.
Last Updated 3:04 PM IST