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Iceland coach steps down after seven years in charge

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) The coach that led Iceland to its first World Cup has stepped down.

The Icelandic Football Association says Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to leave at his own request, ending seven years in the role.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

Hallgrimsson was the co-coach with Lars Lagerback of Sweden at the European Championship in 2016, when Iceland reached the quarterfinals after beating England.

After Lagerback left, Hallgrimsson assumed sole control of the national team, which became the least populous team to ever play at a World Cup. Iceland drew with Argentina in its opening group game but failed to advance to the knockout stage.

Hellgrimsson is a part-time dentist.

VIDEO: Watch France lift World Cup, fans celebrate

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The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, so the celebrations for Les Bleus supporters in Russia and in their homeland of France will likely last a long time.

[ MORE: Three things from France’s win over Croatia ]

Goals from Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe, as well as an early own goal, helped France earn a 4-2 win against Croatia, and France is rocking from the result.

From Beyonce’s show in Saint Denis to French president Emmanuel Macron celebrating in a suite, France is celebrating its rise back to the top of global football.

Here’s a look around Russia and France as Les Bleus secured their second World Cup in competition history.

World Cup final player ratings: Griezmann, Pogba shine for France

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It’ll be easy to argue that France’s opener changed the complexion of the match, which it did, but nonetheless, Les Bleus are world champions for the second time in the last 20 years.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Sunday’s 4-2 World Cup final victory over Croatia was largely possible in part because of the tremendous effort from the French attack, led by Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, however, it was Paul Pogba that once again set the tone for the team’s midfield.

Even after manager Didier Deschamps surprisingly took off N'Golo Kante in the second half, Pogba kept the team’s midfield in their proper shape and locked down the match to prevent Croatia from pulling back any more goals.

Meanwhile, Croatia had their fair share of opportunities, particularly early in the second stanza, but a number of crucial mistakes cost the European nation from hoisting their first World Cup.

Luka Modric had his moments in the team’s build up, but was largely contained in the key areas of the pitch, while Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic each had themselves quality matches, respectively, but also two key mistakes defensively that cost Croatia.


(*** Indicates Player of the Match)

FRANCE

Hugo Lloris: 4

Benjamin Pavard: 5

Raphael Varane: 5

Samuel Umtiti: 6

Lucas Hernandez: 6

***Paul Pogba: 7***

N’Golo Kante: 5

Kylian Mbappe: 7

Antoine Griezmann: 7

Blaise Matuidi: 4

Olivier Giroud: 5

CROATIA

Danijel Subasic: 4

Sime Vrsaljko: 5

Dejan Lovren: 4

Domagoj Vida: 5

Ivan Strinic: 4

Marcelo Brozovic: 5

Ivan Rakitic: 5

Ante Rebic: 4

Luka Modric: 5

Ivan Perisic: 6

Mario Mandzukic: 6

Video: Lloris blunder gives Croatia life

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Hugo Lloris has gifted Croatia their second goal of the final, and perhaps Mario Mandzukic and Co. can find their way back into the match.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

The Juventus forward pulled the scoreline to 4-2 after Lloris failed to clear his line and passed the ball off Mandzukic and into the France goal in the 69th minute.

The goal comes after Mandzukic was charged with an own goal in the first half, which had given France their initial 1-0 lead.

Video: Les Bleus bring on rout with Pogba, Mbappe strikes

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The scoreline doesn’t indicate how well Croatia has played, but that won’t matter much to France — who are on their way to their second World Cup title.

Second-half strikes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe have extended the Les Bleus lead to 4-1 with just under 25 minutes remaining, and France is in prime position to finish at the summit of the 2018 World Cup.

First, Pogba followed up his own rebound after a blocked shot at the top of the box in the 59th minute, and curled a left-footed effort into the goal.

Then, Mbappe followed up the effort with a brilliant strike towards the near post after some quality individual work to create a lane to shoot.