France won their second World Cup title on Sunday, defeating Croatia 4-2 and capturing a title after falling in the final of the Euros two years ago. Because of the styles and performances of the two finalists in their last few games, it was expected the final would be a drab affair. Instead it was anything but, with questionable free kick and debatable penalty decisions, exciting chances, a goalkeeping howler by Hugo Lloris, and great goals by Ivan Perisic, Paul Pogba, and Kylian Mbappe. Croatia played very well, and it was an incredible achievement for this still relatively young squad to reach the final. But in the end, with all the talent they have, and the performances of particularly their center backs, N’golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, France deserved this title.
It’s hard to win the World Cup, and International tournaments in general. That’s why so few countries have done it, why this sports blue bloods like Brazil, Germany, and Italy have won so many. France was a country that had produced great players like Michel Platini and Just Fontaine, but they were not able to win any titles before 1998. In that year, France hosted the World Cup, and on the feet of Zinedine Zidane, and a team that represented a multicultural France, they captured their first World Cup on home soil. Since then, France has gone on a tremendous 20-year stretch, winning the World Cup in 1998 and 2018, and reaching the final in 2006. They also won the Euros in 2000, and reached the Euro final in 2016. They had their rocky stages of course, particularly at the World Cup in 2010. Still, with all the Championships and finals they’ve reached in this 20-year span, France is probably the preeminent national soccer team of this generation.
After a long long wait for their own soccer-specific stadium, D.C. United finally opened up Audi Field on Saturday night, and they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1. Audi Field seems to have turned out great, and D.C. put in a good performance, with a great first goal by Yamil Asad, and a brace by Paul Arriola. The game was also Wayne Rooney’s debut, and he put in a nice performance, coming in during the second half, and getting an assist on Arriola’s second goal. Because of the way the schedule is, despite being in last place in the East, D.C. have a quite a few games in hand, and a decent shot at making the playoffs if they can make a run.
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