Messi & co out of FIFA World Cup 2018 in a seven goal thriller

France beat Argentina 4-3 to end, what probably could have been, Messi’s last World Cup campaign

Photo courtesy: Twitter 
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Vikrant Jha

Lionel Messi looked desperate as the match progressed towards the dead end. He even provided a pin-point assist in the dying minutes of the match off which Sergio Aguero scored and reduced the deficit to just a goal. But indeed, it was not to be for the Argentina man on Friday as his team lost to France 4-3 and bowed out of the World Cup.

He was running more than he may have all through this World Cup, he was trying to create space even as at least two Frenchmen surrounded him at all times, he was trying to cut in too, but nothing seemed to be working for the the star player. This well may have been his last attempt at the glory, at winning the World Cup.

In fact, Messi himself had a chance to make it 4-3 in the 84th minute of the match but his brilliant run was ruined by a terrible finish from the Argentine number 10. As it remains, the great Barcelona forward, if indeed he decides to retire after this World Cup, will have no goal to his credit in the elimination rounds, something that will haunt him once he decides to hang his boots.

The difference between the two sides proved to be a 19-year-old wonder boy, Kylian Mbappe who scored two goals for France and was the one who had gotten France awarded with the penalty of which Antonie Griezmann opened the scoring in the match. But a brilliant Angel Di Maria strike in 41st minute brought even things out for both the sides before the half-time whistle.

In the second half, it was Argentina that took the lead in the 48th minute when Messi’s shot towards the goal took a deflection from his own-teammate Gabriel Mercado. The French side bounced merely nine minutes later through a fabulous Benjamin Pavard volley. After that, there was no stopping the French team, and especially Kyllian Mbappe who added another two goals in the 64th and 68th minute. Argentina tried to force things towards the end but could only manage to reduce the victory margin for France when Aguero scored in the 93rd minute.

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Published: 30 Jun 2018, 9:50 PM