Argentina defeats France in penalties to win World Cup

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe scored in extra time to push the World Cup final to penalties

Argentina defeated France in penalties to win its third World Cup title.

Argentina got two goals from Lionel Messi, including one in extra time, to help get past the defending World Cup champions. The game was tied 3-3 in extra time before going to penalties. Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez got a big save in the shootout.

For Messi, he picked up the trophy that has eluded him for his entire career in what was likely his last chance to do it. He left it all on the field and put the squad on his back to deliver the country’s first title since 1986.

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Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup final match against France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec.18, 2022.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup final match against France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec.18, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

It was all Argentina early in the match

Argentina got on the board first quickly after France tried to take its first shot. France’s Ousmane Dembele tripped Angel Di Maria on the left side of the box. The referee called a foul and a penalty kick was awarded.

Leave it to Messi to come through.

Messi scored his sixth goal of the tournament to take the lead in the Golden Boot race and put Argentina up 1-0 in the 23rd minute of the match. He became the first men’s player to score in all four matches of the knockout stage.

Not too long after that, Di Maria came through on a ball of his own.

France turned the ball over and touch passes from Messi, Julian Alvarez and Alexi Mac Allister led to a shot for Di Maria and he buried the ball past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Di Maria didn’t play the last three matches due to an injury.

Argentina's players celebrate after Lionel Messi scored his side's opening goal against France in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec.18, 2022.

Argentina's players celebrate after Lionel Messi scored his side's opening goal against France in Lusail, Qatar, Sunday, Dec.18, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

France got right back into the game in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.

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Kylian Mbappe got an opportunity to put France on the board with a penalty and came through in flying colors. He got his penalty past Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Less than two minutes later, Mbappe got the ball on the left side of the box and fired another shot past Martinez. Mbappe singlehandedly tied the match for France and took back the Golden Boot lead at the same time.

Mbappe became the second men’s player to score goals in back-to-back World Cups. Vava did it in 1958 and 1962.

France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup final match against Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022.

France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup final match against Argentina, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

In extra time, Messi was at the right place in the right time in the 108th minute to score for Argentina. The initial shot from Lautaro Martinez went off the face of French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Messi then put the ball over the line despite the block from a French defender.

Minutes later, France would strike.

Argentina's Gonzalo Montiel was called for a handball in the box and allowed France to get a penalty opportunity. Leave it to Mbappe to convert.

The young soccer superstar scored his third goal of the match and tied the final up in extra time. Toward the end of extra time both Lloris and Martinez came up big for their squads.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal. (Reuters/Hannah Mckay)

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Messi and Mbappe both scored in penalties and it was Montiel who finished off the match for Argentina.