World Cup: Final was a microcosm of the tournament with emphasis on defence, team work and reliance on set pieces

Croatia celebrating their first goal, on July 15, 2018. They have five players between 29 and 31, and were perhaps conscious that they had to get the first punches in.
Croatia celebrating their first goal, on July 15, 2018. They have five players between 29 and 31, and were perhaps conscious that they had to get the first punches in. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW - So there we have it; Vive La France!! World champions for the second time in their history following a victory over a brave Croatia - a triumph earned more by solid, obdurate organisation rather than by Gallic flair.

A World Cup final that was effectively a microcosm of the entire tournament with defensive formation the order of the day, an emphasis on no mistakes - ignoring Hugo Lloris' 69th minute 'moment' of madness - performances based on team rather than individual effort, and set pieces the preferred way of breaking the deadlock (47 per cent of goals in the competition came from this route).

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