It will be France’s fourth World Cup final in seven editions and they are hoping to become the first team since Brazil 60 years ago to retain the trophy when they take on Argentina at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
France ended Morocco’s World Cup dream as pretensions from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani gave the holders a 2- 0 palm in theirsemi-final clash and set up a showdown on Sunday with Lionel Messi’s Argentina. It looked like France might make short work of their opponents when Hernandez scored inside five twinkles at Al Bayt Stadium, despite having a hostile crowd against them. But Morocco, the first African and Arab platoon ever to reach the last four at a World Cup, fought on despite losing crucial players to injury only to see cover Kolo Muani seal palm for Les Bleus with a late second.
It’ll be France’s fourth World Cup final in seven editions and they’re hoping to come the first platoon since Brazil 60 times ago to retain the jewel when they take on Argentina at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
That will be billed as a showdown between Messi and his Paris Saint- Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe, but this match wasn’t about the latter’s individual brilliance.
Rather France’s palm was down to a platoon trouble against a Moroccan side who’ll now face Croatia in Saturday’s third- place play- off.
Morocco had reached the semi-finals after beating Belgium in the group stage and also knocking out Spain and Portugal.
But whether they could repeat the feat against the holders was another matter, and trainer Walid Regragui‘s plans were left in fermentation by a slew of injuries.
Having missed the quarter-final, centre- reverse Nayef Aguerd was recalled only to withdraw at the last nanosecond, with Achraf Dari stepping in.
Also fellow protector and captain Romain Saiss had to abandon his teammates after just 21 twinkles, and by also Morocco were before.
France were met by blaring hisses when in possession from the huge Moroccan support but they silenced the crowd with the early nature, Hernandez netting with an acrobatic blitz at the aft post after Mbappe’s shot was veered.
Remarkably it was also just the alternate thing conceded by Morocco at this World Cup and the first scored by an opposition player.
Still, there was the feeling that the evening could snappily turn into a rude reality check for them, If the excellent Azzedine Ounahi forced a fine save from Hugo Lloris soon after.
When Saiss let a simple forward ball brio over his head, Olivier Giroud broke down but his shot hit the post.
Also when Saiss came off Regragui abandoned his back three and matched France’s 4-3-3.
Morocco finished the half explosively and nearly drew position when, following a corner, protector Jawad El Yamiq saw his overhead kick sloped onto the post by Lloris.
The Atlas Lions also also lost Bayern Munich left- back Noussair Mazraoui at half- time, but France hadn’t been saved from fitness worries themselves.
Two of their starters in the quarter-final palm over England, Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano, were missing due to illness.
Les Bleus have been used to playing semi-finals on a cutter- edge and their former three triumphs at this stage– in 1998, 2006 and 2018– had all come by a single thing.
Coach Didier Deschamps took off Giroud and replaced him with Marcus Thuram– son of Lilian– as Mbappe moved outside.
Kolo Muani also came on for Ousmane Dembele, and with 11 twinkles remaining he scored from his first touch, tapping in after another Mbappe shot had been veered.
The Moroccan players knew also it was game over, and so did French President Emmanuel Macron, standing to hail in the crowd. Know More News…