FOOTBALL – Argentina v France. The first save came 2 minutes into the game, but Alvarez was offside in any case. Then 5 minutes in, Messi claimed foul, but the referee waved play on. The game started at a frantic pace, but certainly, in the first 10 minutes, the play was very much with Argentina.
French goalkeeper, Lloris ended up on the ground when Romero collided with him. But after treatment, he was OK to carry on.
Mbappe got his first chance at goal as he ran at Molina and played a one-two with Rabiot. However, he didn´t get on the end of the return to do anything with it. Then at the other end, De Paul played the one-two with Messi, and passed to Di Maria who shot just over the bar. Almost exactly the same thing happened a minute later, but for Argentina when De Paul brought down Hernandez. Griezmann sent a good free kick in from the left, but the connecting header went over the bar.
Then after 21 minutes of play, Alvarez sent the ball out to Di Maria on the left. Dembele nudged Di Maria who claimed, and won the penalty. Messi stepped up against Lloris, and scored. GOAAAAALLLLL!! It was 1-0 for Argentina.
Thirty five minutes in, and Argentina scored their second goal. Upamecano lost the ball, and Argentina made a counter return. Messi flicked it toward MacAllister as he ran forward and squared the ball to Di Maria who put the ball in the bottom corner of the net. It was 2-0 for Argentina.
Seven minutes were added to the first half for stoppage time, and France had barely touched the ball.
Griezmann took a last minute free kick, but there was no-one there to meet his cross. The first half ended 2-0 for Argentina.
By this point, the game was all over the place. There was some very scrappy play going on. But just before the 60-minute mark, Alvarez aimed low, however, Lloris got a glove to it and sent it out of danger. Ten minutes later, and Mbappe aimed at goal, but his shot was high and wide.
After 77 minutes, Argentina were awarded a free kick. Messi took it through and passed it to De Paul. However, De Paul´s cross was to close to the goalkeeper who read the situation, and collected the ball. A minute later, and a penalty was awarded to France after Muani was caught by Otamendi and brought down. The referee pointed to the spot.
This time, it was the turn of Mbappe. He stepped up and put the ball int he bottom corner of the net. With just under 10 minutes of normal time to go, France were back in the game. Suddenly, the pace stepped up a notch. France were alive again, and in the 81st minute Mbappe scored. It was 2-2 now and every second counted. Once again, the play was frantic.
Mbappe had now scored 7 goals to Messi´s 6 in this world cup. However, Messi assisted in Argentina´s second goal.
Once again, the play was frantic. Three minutes later, a cross came from Mbappe to Kolo Muani. But it was just too high. On the 90-minute mark, Mbappe took a free kick, but it didn´t connect.
Into stoppage time, and 8 minutes were added. It was still all square at 2-2. Three minutes in, and another attempt came from Mbappe but it went wide. There was a scramble in the box as the Argentinian goalkeeper made two saves. It was end to end stuff in these last few minutes.
As the clock ticked away, both sides tried everything to bring the game to a result. Six minutes into stoppage time, and Lloris made a superb save from a Messi attempt on goal. This resulted in a corner, but Messi failed to produce. There was a last minute scramble for Argentina, but it ended 2-2. The game was going to extra time.
Once again, it was end to end play. An attempt at 105 minutes, and how did Argentina miss? Then, in the first minute of stoppage time, with an empty goal, Argentina missed again.
By half time in extra time, and it was still 2-2 with nothing to separate these 2 countries.
Extra time second half
Martinez fired a shot across goal, but Lloris parried it away. However, Messi got a touch, and scored on the rebound. It was now 3-2 for Argentina four minutes into the second half of extra time.
115 minutes in, and a penalty for France was awarded as Montiel was given the yellow card. Mbappe stepped up, and scored. 3-3 now, and with only 3 minutes of extra time remaining, it looked like it was going to penalties.
But before then, Argentina wasted the opportunity from a corner, and there was a near miss from France.
Mbappe stepped up first. The goalkeeper got a touch, but Mbappe scored.
Next up, Messi also scored.
It was all even as Coman took his turn, and missed.
Dybala scored making it 2-1.
Paredes scored making it 3-1.
Kolo Muani scored for France. It was now 3-2.
Montiel scored the decider and Argentina won 4-2 on penalites.
There were celebrations for Argentina, but desolation for the French side who came so close.