France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to repeat as champions after the 1998 World Cup amid a pitch invasion by Russian protest group Pussy Riot.
France clinched its second World Cup title on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Croatia in a dramatic final in Moscow featuring a series of firsts and a pitch invasion orchestrated by Russian protest group Pussy Riot.
France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final.
The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head was the 12th of the tournament – double the previous World Cup record of six.
Croatia rallied to equalise on a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic, but France took the lead right back when Perisic handled the ball in the area.
Argentine referee Nestor Pitana initially didn't call the handball but awarded the spot kick after a video review. Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty to put France back in front.
Four pitch invaders disrupted the game in the 52nd minute for about a minute before being dragged away by security and police.
Punk rock group Pussy Riot quickly claimed responsibility for the pitch invasion via social media, saying it was a protest aimed at ending illegal arrests of protesters and to allow political competition in Russia.
THIS. ALL THIS 🙌 pic.twitter.com/tOtCx39owk— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) July 15, 2018
Pussy Riot issued a list of demands to the Russian government on Twitter including to free political prisoners, end "illegal arrests at protests" and to "allow political competition in the country."
Pussy Riot rose to global prominence with their daring outdoor performances critical of Russia President Vladimir Putin.
NEWS FLASH! Just a few minutes ago four Pussy Riot members performed in the FIFA World Cup final match — ”Policeman enters the Game”https://t.co/3jUi5rC8hh pic.twitter.com/W8Up9TTKMA— 𝖕𝖚𝖘𝖘𝖞 𝖗𝖎𝖔𝖙 (@pussyrrriot) July 15, 2018
Second title for France
Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead with goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes before Mario Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th.
Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final.
For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.
Deschamps tossed into the air
France coach Didier Deschamps was thrown into the air in a celebration by his players after becoming just the third person to win the World Cup as a player and as a coach.
Deschamps was captain of the France squad that won the World Cup on home soil in 1998.
With France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the final in Moscow, he joins Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) and Mario Zagallo (Brazil) in an elite trio that has won the title on the field and from the bench.