France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring on a penalty his side' second goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
France clinched its second FIFA World Cup title after beating Croatia 4-2 in the finals on Sunday – in the highest-scoring final since 1966.
Les Bleus led from the get-go courtesy of the first-half own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head. Croatia rallied to equalize with a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic; however France took the lead right back when Perisic handled the ball in his own penalty area.
The French National Team celebrates after the FIFA World Cup against Croatia. (AP)
Argentine referee Nestor Pitana initially didn't call the handball but awarded the spot kick after a video review – the first time in a World Cup final. Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty to put France back in front.
The match was temporarily disrupted when four pitch invaders ran onto the field in the 52nd 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.
Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead with goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes.
Mbappe, at 19 years old, became only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. He showed his electrifying speed before slotting a right-footed shot past Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. He was born months after France won the World Cup in 1998.
Kylian Mbappé gets in on the action!
The 19-year-old becomes the first teenager to score in a FIFA World Cup final since Pelé. pic.twitter.com/4fqjCSWJL0— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 15, 2018
The last teenager to score in a World Cup final was Pele, who scored two when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in 1958.
Pele congratulated the teenager on Sunday, praising him for his performance.
"Only the second teenager to have scored a goal in a #WorldCupFinal! Welcome to the club, @Mbappe - it's great to have some company!” he wrote.
Only the second teenager to have scored a goal in a #WorldCupFinal! Welcome to the club, @KMbappe - it's great to have some company! // O segundo adolescente a marcar um gol em uma final de #CopaDoMundo! Bem-vindo ao clube, Kylian - é ótimo ter a sua companhia! https://t.co/g8b2gLTy7B— Pelé (@Pele) July 15, 2018
Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th after a mistake by French goalie Hugo Lloris.
Oh no Hugo Lloris, what is you doing? 😱 pic.twitter.com/ui8g6ZOiPp— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 15, 2018
President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the French National Team soon after the game ended.
“Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament -- one of the best ever!” he wrote.
Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament -- one of the best ever!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
In France, crowds packed the lawns stretching out beneath the Eiffel Tower, frenetically waving French flags as police struggled to keep them squeezed in place.
On the other side of the Seine River, more throngs poured onto streets around the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, where soldiers and military equipment paraded a day before on France's national Bastille Day holiday.
Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang
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