France Become The First Team To Reach Back-To-Back World Cup Finals Since Brazil In 1962
France were undoubtedly the favourites for this match, especially with both Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud both chasing the golden boot. However, they’d have a tough night against a strong Moroccan defence only having conceded one goal in the tournament so far.
A final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina would await the winners on Sunday, while the losers will be facing Croatia in the third-place play off game on Saturday.
The pride and passion Morocco had shown to get to this point certainly came through in the national anthem, when the majority of the Al Bayt Stadium was in full voice in support of the underdog African nation.
The underdog story wasn’t to last for long though, as within five minutes, after a scramble in the box, Mbappe’s strike found Hernández and he was just able to stretch to it and poke it into the back of the net.
Unfortunately for Morocco, not only did they concede an early goal, but captain Romain Saiss had to go off after twenty minutes. He wasn’t the only injury problem for the North African side, Aguerd was supposed to be starting the match, but before a ball had been kicked he’d been replaced by Dari.
Yamiq almost put Morocco back level before the break, but his bicycle kick was inches away from going in and it remained in France’s favour as the teams headed into the break.
The second half started with another Moroccan substitution of those who were injury doubts after their quarter-final win over Portugal. Mazraoui was replaced by Allah to see if a fully fit squad would finally be able to get Morocco back level.
Despite all the Moroccan pressure though, France got themselves a second as the game entered the final ten minutes.Mbappe drew the defenders to him and the PSG forward slipped in Muani to double France’s lead and all but cement their place in the World Cup final.
Morocco did have a couple of chances at the end, to try and get some sort of consolation/lifeline but it was not to be for the inspirational African side today.
France became the first team to reach back-to-back World Cup finals since Brazil in 1962.
FT: France 2 Morocco 0
France: Lloris, Koundé, Varane, Konaté, Hernández, Tchouaméni, Fofana, Dembélé (79), Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud (65)
Subs: Pavard, Disasi, Guendouzi, Kolo Muani (79), Veretout, Mandanda, Saliba, Upamecano, Coman, Areola, Camavinga, Thuram (65)
Morocco: Bono, Hakimi, Yamiq, Dari, Saïss (21), Mazraoui (46), Ziyech, Ounahi, Amrabat, Boufal (67), En-Nesyri (66)
Subs: Hamdallah (66), Zaroury, Sabiri, Munir, Chair, Aboukhlal (67), Amallah (21)(78), Ezzalzouli (78), Tagnaouti, El Khannouss, Benoun, Allah (46), Jabrane