Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic contributed to an unfortunate record in the World Cup 2018 final against France. The Juventus forward became the first player to score an own goal in a World Cup final. He inadvertently deflected an Antoine Griezmann free kick into his own net for Les Bleus‘ opener.
As Griezmann’s free kick floated into the box, Mandzukic rose highest, but could only make slight contact. The touch diverted the ball away from the grasp of Danijel Subasic into the back of the net.
Fortunately, the own goal was cancelled out when Ivan Perisic levelled. But France retaliated and went ahead once more from the penalty spot.
Didier Deschamps’ side doubled their lead in the second half through Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe. Mandzukic later atoned for his earlier error by capitalising on a Hugo Lloris error to narrow the lead.
Interestingly, Russia 2018 has actually seen a number of records tumble. But, mostly in terms of own goals. Mandzukic’s unfortunate deflection took the overall tally of goals scored in the wrong net to 12.
Remarkably, that figure is double the previous record, set 20 years ago at the 1998 World Cup in France.
Mandzukic recovered from the knock he sustained in Croatia’s 2-1 semi-final victory over England to take his place in Zlatko Dalic’s starting XI for the final.
The 32-year-old scored the decisive goal against the Three Lions in that last-four game, finding the net in extra-time to secure Croatia’s first ever appearance in a World Cup final.
The goal against England was his second of the tournament after he breached the net in the last 16 against Denmark, with his strike against France bringing his overall tally to three.
In the end, Croatia’s heroics were in vain as France closed out an emphatic 4-2 victory. But as has been stated on social media, France may have won the cup, but Croatia won many hearts.