- France’s offensive attack was far more efficient than Croatia in the World Cup Final, and it proved to be part of the difference in the win.
- Croatia took twice as many shots as France but had fewer that were on-target.
- Circumstance and officiating also had a big impact on the goal difference.
France beat Croatia, 4-2, in the World Cup Final on Sunday to once again bring the trophy home.
The thrilling, high-scoring match saw France stay a step ahead of Croatia, scoring the first goal off a free kick, followed by one on a penalty kick, and goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe to keep Croatia at bay.
What didn’t help matters for Croatia was their inefficiency on offence. It wasn’t as if Croatia played poorly or didn’t have their opportunities – they took double the shots of France, 14-7.
However, France converted three of their attempts and six were on target. Meanwhile, Croatia took 14 shots, scoring twice, with only four on goal.
A look at the shots, via Stats Zone:
Of course, not all opportunities are equal. Some of Croatia’s attempts were from far outside or in desperation to cut the deficit.
Also factoring into the difference was the officiating. France’s first goal came after Antoine Griezmann flopped and was awarded a free kick. That free kick turned into an own goal on Croatia. Later, video review turned into a Croatian handball off of France corner kick, awarding Griezmann a penalty kick that he buried easily.
Nonetheless, a significant factor throughout the tournament was France’s talent on offence. If France scored efficiently, taking advantage of nearly every opportunity, Croatia wouldn’t have much of a chance without doing the same. On Sunday, they couldn’t.
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