Messi completes his quest, leads Argentina to PK victory over defending champs Mbappe and France

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Lionel Messi had two goals to Kylian Mbappe's three, but survived a late rally from the 2018 champions to take victory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

DOHA – With just one remaining match at this year’s FIFA World Cup, it seemed Doha had one more moment of magic to bestow upon over 1 billion people worldwide who are expected to flick on Sunday’s World Cup Final.


And what a magical game it was. 


French superstar Kylian Mbappe put together one of the great World Cup performances in recent memory, netting himself a hattrick in the 120 minutes of play. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t enough as Lionel Messi - in his final World Cup appearance - led his comptratios to a 4-2 victory in penalty kicks to achieve that ever-elusive World Cup trophy. 


Buenos Aires surely got a head start on the celebration as Argentina managed what was a dream start. They were relentless on the attack which culminated in an early penalty. The little boy from Rosario as many know him, made non mistake of the opportunity to slip the opening goal into twine for the early 1-0 lead. 


Angel Di Maria added what looked to be some insurance in just the 36th minute to stretch the lead to two. 


France came down to their final 10 minutes, when they were able to draw a penalty themselves. 23 year old Mbappe capitalized with ease to cut the lead in half, before just over a minute later, he finished a perfect volley to even the tide at two apiece. 


Two apiece was how the full time could close, as the two remaining squads headed for extra time. Once again Messi seemed to have achieved the unachievable when he netted his second of the game in the 108th minute. 


Down to their dying seconds now, France once again pulled out a rabbit out of the hat.


Mbappe scored his third of the match to deadlock this one for the second time in the 118th minute of play.


This one headed to penalties where both Messi and Mbappe scored on their opening kicks. Argentina was able to score out though with France missing their next two shots to secure the Argentina victory. 


Ranging emotions between the opposing fans/players are drastic, but for those onlookers of the match who felt no allegiance, the match was one to behold. The back and forth action was some of the most exciting the tournament has produced - not just this year, but ever. 


Despite the neverending controversial headlines that Qatar produced, there is no denying the magic that was delivered on the pitch. And for a man like Lionel Messi, the quest has been completed.