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Argentina beats France 4-2 to win epic World Cup final on penalties

Lionel Messi has led Argentina to the most dramatic of World Cup triumphs (Picture: Getty)

Argentina have won the World Cup for a third time, requiring a penalty shootout to do so when an epic contest with France finished 3-3 after extra-time.

Kylian Mbappe became just the second man to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but it was not enough, with Lionel Messi winning the battle of the PSG superstars thanks to his brace for Argentina.

It was the definition of a see-saw affair as the South Americans went 2-0 up, before being pegged back late and dragged to extra-time. Messi’s second and Mbappe’s third took the game to penalties where Emi Martinez made a save, Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide and Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning strike.

Lionel Scaloni’s side completely dominated the vast majority of normal time, finding themselves two goals to the good at half-time through Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria and looking largely unruffled.

Di Maria won a penalty after being felled by Ousmane Dembele, which allowed Lionel Messi to slot home 23 minutes in, scoring his sixth goal of the competition.

Di Maria then netted himself, rounding off a stunning team move on 36 minutes which featured Messi, Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Rodriguez and will go down as one of the goals of the tournament.

80 minutes had passed before France even looked like a threat, but two goals in two minutes from Kylian Mbappe changed everything and took the game to extra-time. The second of his brace a memorable volley after a one-two with Marcus Thuram on the edge of the box.



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