Only the beginning! - Mbappe thrilled after starring in World Cup final

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July 16, 2018
France's Kylian Mbappe (front) celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, yesterday.

MOSCOW, Russia (AP):

Taking turns sliding across the rain-soaked turf holding the World Cup trophy tight, teenager Kylian Mbappe and the rest of France's players acted like the youthful bunch they are.

It carried on long after a thrilling 4-2 win over Croatia yesterday.

The 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe became only the second teen after Pele to score in a World Cup final.

Mbappe sent a right-footed shot from 25 yards past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to put France up 4-1, closing the door on Croatia, who had been the better team until Mbappe took control.

The only other teen to score in a World Cup final was Pele, who was 17 when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in 1958.

Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, was born months after France won their only other World Cup title in 1998.

"I have a whole story to write," Mbappe said. "This is just the beginning."

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, France's two other key creative players, also scored. Pogba played a disciplined role in Russia, but his natural joy was evident celebrating his 18-yard shot, and leading the champagne shower for coach Didier Deschamps. Mario Mandzukic scored at both ends, while Ivan Perisic scored an equalising goal in the 28th minute.

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Griezmann scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute fully four minutes after his corner kick was knocked out of play by Ivan Perisic's arm. The referee ruled it handball only after a video review, just as the first thunders claps boomed around the stadium.

"In a World Cup final, you do not give such a penalty," Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.

France took the lead in the 18th when Mandzukic, rose to meet Griezmann's free kick with the top of his head. He deflected it past his own goalkeeper.

Perisic and Mandzukic both scored for Croatia, first to equalise in the 28th minute and later as a consolation goal in the 69th, embarrassing Lloris with a flicked shot as the France goalkeeper tried to dribble the ball out of his goalmouth.

But the three-goal lead was too much for the red-and-white-checkered squad that made a habit of coming back at the World Cup - and played three straight 120-minute games before the final.

Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. He joined Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer, who captained West Germany.

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