Mbappe seals World Cup Golden Boot but final hat-trick fails to fell Messi's Argentina Featured

By Sports Desk December 18, 2022 747

Kylian Mbappe clinched the World Cup Golden Boot with a dramatic hat-trick in Sunday's final, though his efforts were in vain as Lionel Messi's Argentina triumphed on penalties.

Mbappe entered Sunday's game level with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Messi on five goals, and twice fell behind in his battle with the Argentina captain in a thrilling contest.

Messi became the first player to reach 20 World Cup goal involvements when he opened the scoring with a penalty following Ousmane Dembele's trip on Angel Di Maria, who then capped a flowing move to put Argentina 2-0 up.

However, Mbappe was gifted a route back into the battle atop the goalscoring charts with 10 minutes remaining, tucking a penalty home after Nicolas Otamendi fouled Randal Kolo Muani.

Mbappe then moved clear in the race for the Golden Boot in incredible fashion 97 seconds later, lashing a first-time volley beyond Emiliano Martinez to force extra time.

Messi looked to have sealed the award – and the trophy for his country – once again when he prodded Argentina back in front in extra time, but Mbappe responded with yet another spot-kick when Gonzalo Montiel was penalised for handball.

That made Mbappe just the second player to score a hat-trick in a men's World Cup final, and the first since England's Geoff Hurst did so against West Germany in 1966.

Mbappe followed up his heroics by converting the first penalty of the shoot-out, but misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni saw his campaign end in heart-breaking fashion as Argentina claimed their third title. 

Having netted in 2018's win against Croatia, Mbappe is now the highest-scoring player in World Cup final history with four, while his overall tally of 12 goals at the tournament puts him level with three-time champion Pele.

Mbappe's total of eight goals in Qatar is the joint highest at a single World Cup since Gerd Muller scored 10 times in 1970 (also Ronaldo, eight in 2002), but that will come as little consolation to the forward following France's painful defeat.

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Last modified on Sunday, 18 December 2022 13:40
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