During the World Cup final, France was given a lucky refereeing decision that turned the game against Croatia, holds Jonathan Wilson in Sports Illustrated. At 1-1, the referee gave France a penalty for a Croatian player, Ivan Perisic, touching the ball with his hand in his team’s goalkeeping area. This decision was highly controversial because the ball bounced off a French player before hitting him, meaning he had almost no way of getting out of the way. Without the intent to touch the ball with his hand, a penalty should not have been given. It was, and gave France a 2-1 lead, which was crucial in it winning in the end. Croatia didn’t deserve to lose.
While a controversial penalty decision stood out during France’s World Cup final victory over Croatia, it was a highly deserved triumph, argues Rory Smith of The New York Times. The French team did what they had done all throughout the tournament, defend well and take their chances. While Croatia had the ball more, France’s stars, Pogba and Mbappé needed mere minutes to take Croatia out of the game, with clinically scored goals. The team maintained control of the game; the supreme talent of its individuals shone. It kept a cool head during Croatia’s best period and then punished it when its tempo slowed down. France deserved to win.