DOHA, Qatar — Sportscaster Andres Cantor is famous for bellowing 'goal' during soccer matches, but on Sunday he went viral for an even better reason.
Cantor, 59, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before his family moved to California when he was a teenager.
Though announcers are usually tasked with holding back bias for either team as they call the game, Cantor couldn't hold back his emotions as he watched his homeland claim its third World Cup title, which was also Argentina's first since 1986.
Cantor, flanked by Claudio Borghi who played for Argentina during the 1986 World Cup, broke down in joyful tears as he called Gonzalo Montiel's game-clinching goal.
Argentina won the World Cup in an overtime shootout, beating France 4-2 in penalty shootout goals after tying them 3-3 during regular play and securing soccer's highest trophy for the country's third time.
The intense France-Argentina match was watched by tens of thousands of spectators inside the stadiums in Qatar, and millions on television around the world.
With the win, Argentina has cinched fourth place in the all-time list with three World Cup titles, and Lionel Messi has achieved the one trophy that has eluded him for his entire career.
Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot, with the first goal for Argentina. Angel Di Maria followed shortly after, netting a second goal for the team. By the second half, Argentina led 2-0.
France answered back in the second half with a penalty kick goal from Kylian Mbappé. less than two minutes later, Mbappé scored another goal, tying the game 2-2.
Even with eight extra minutes of stoppage time added by the referee team, neither team had secured the third goal by the end of regular play, sending the final match into extra time.
Extra time, which is essentially overtime in soccer, consists of two 15-minute halves, and teams play both full halves even if one team scores — there is no "Golden Goal" or "sudden death" rule. After the first 15-minute half, there's a brief break and the teams change ends.
Less than 15 minutes from penalty kicks, Messi came to Argentina's rescue, breaking through a chaotic scuffle near the goal area to secure a goal, bringing the score to 3-2.
But another penalty awarded to France gave Mbappé a chance to even the score, allowing him to score with a penalty kick to tie the game 3-3.
After more than two hours of play, the final match ended in a penalty shootout.
Argentina made all three of their initial kicks, but France missed the second and third before scoring on their fourth kick
But the final kick by Argentina cinched the victory, securing the World Cup for Messi's last championship.
The final was just as much about its stars as it was about the national teams. For Argentina, 35-year-old Messi's once-in-a-generation career culminated at the final. Messi has said it would be his final World Cup. The Argentina team is centered around its star player, largely set up simply to get the best out of Messi throughout the full 90 minutes of game time.
France's 23-year-old Mbappé, however, had something to prove. He is considered the player best positioned to take over from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as soccer’s marquee name. He went into the final looking to lead his team to a second World Cup victory in a row. Mbappé was 19 when he led France to its second World Cup title in 2018, becoming the youngest scorer in a final since a 17-year-old Pelé did so for Brazil in 1958.
The World Cup champions will earn $42 million in prize money for their soccer federation while the losing team in the final will get $30 million from a FIFA prize fund of $440 million.
Not all the money goes to players, but they are expected to get a good chunk of it. France players such as Kylian Mbappé are in line to be paid a bonus of 554,000 euros ($586,000) by their federation for winning the final, French sports daily L’Equipe reported.
Third-place team Croatia earned $27 million in prize money and Morocco, which ended up in fourth, will be paid $25 million.