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SPORTS | 18-12-2022 14:59

CHAMPIONS: Argentina defeat France on penalties to win third World Cup

The Albiceleste are the champions of the world! Penalty shoot-out win after thrilling 3-3 draw with France secures Argentina third World Cup!

Argentina are the champions of the world!

The Albiceleste on Sunday defeated France 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after a thrilling 3-3 draw to win the World Cup for the third time.

Captain Lionel Messi scored twice and France striker Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick as the World Cup final finished all square after extra time at the Lusail Stadium.

In an extraordinary night of high drama, Argentine substitute Gonzalo Montiel stroked home the winning spot-kick to seal an emotional victory for Argentina.

France, the reigning champions, had fought back from 2-0 down and 3-2 down in extra-time to make it 3-3 and take the game to penalties.

Messi had given Argentina the lead from the penalty spot in the first half before Ángel Di María made it 2-0.

The Albiceleste looked to be cruising to victory until Mbappé scored twice in the 80th and 81st minutes to level it at 2-2.

France looked the likelier team to go on and win it, but Messi put Argentina 3-2 ahead in extra-time after poking home from close range after Lautaro Martínez's shot was parried by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

But there was more drama two minutes from the end of extra-time when Montiel conceded a penalty for handball.

Messi's Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Mbappé stepped up to score from the spot for the second time to take the game to penalties. 

The victory, however, would come to Argentina and with it, a third title.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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