Photos: Argentina beats France on penalty kicks to win the 2022 World Cup
The 2022 World Cup came to an end Sunday, with Argentina as the victors. Argentina started strong in the final match with a 2-0 lead over France, but France's Kylian Mbappé quickly changed the course of the game with two goals of his own in the second half. With minutes left, Argentina's star player Lionel Messi broke the tie and scored another goal, and it seemed like Argentina once again had sealed their victory — until Mbappé, for only the second time in the history of the World Cup finals, completed a hat trick, scoring a third goal with a late penalty.
After a tense penalty shootout, Argentina emerged victorious. Argentina's goalkeeper, Emiliano Martínez, blocked France's second attempt, and French winger Kingsley Coman missed his penalty. The match ended with a final score of 3-3 and Argentina leading 4-2 in penalties.
Argentina's run in this year's World Cup began with a shocking loss to Saudi Arabia. It seemed like Messi's journey in the tournament would come to a swift end. Instead, Argentina continued to advance, winning every subsequent game they played.
Their final opponent and defending champion, France, dominated their matches in Qatar. In the final match, France struggled to maintain that momentum in the first half. After the half, Mbappé's hat trick nearly turned the tide of the game. The pressure peaked in the penalty shootout, affecting the French team's ability to score.
The teams' fans reacted around the world. In Buenos Aires, hundreds of thousands flocked to the streets to celebrate.
In a fight for third place, Croatia and Morocco also faced off this weekend. Croatia emerged victorious Saturday, with a score of 2-1. The loss did not take away from Morocco's historic run as the first African and Arab team to reach the World Cup semifinals.
Croatia's Joško Gvardiol and Morocco's Achraf Dari scored goals early in the match. After intense exchanges in the first half, Mislav Oršić scored and cemented Croatia's lead just before the half. Despite several attempts, Morocco was unable to score again.
The 2026 World Cup will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the meantime, soccer fans can tune into matches across Europe, where favorite players, like Messi, compete throughout the year.
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