Morocco's historic run comes to an end, France set up World Cup final date with Argentina

Theo Hernandez's goal in the 5th minute gave the defending world champions an early lead

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

France's Aurelien Tchouameni, Axel Disasi and teammates celebrate after the match as France reach the final. Photo: Reuters
France's Aurelien Tchouameni, Axel Disasi and teammates celebrate after the match as France reach the final. Photo: Reuters

Published: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 12:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 1:24 AM

Defending champions France overcame a rousing challenge from Morocco to win the second semifinal of the World Cup 2-0 on Wednesday night and set up a mouthwatering final clash with two-time champions Argentina.

Goals from Theo Hernandez and Kolo Muani at Al Bayt Stadium ended Morocco’s dream run in Qatar, where they became the first African and Arab team in history to reach the World Cup semifinal.


After conceding a fifth-minute goal to a wonderful volley from Hernandez, the Moroccans came in waves at the French defence for an equaliser.

Having beaten European heavyweights Belgium, Spain and Portugal on the back of their resolute defensive skills, the North Africans suddenly found themselves in a position where attack was their hope of remaining alive in the biggest match of their life.


Inspired by the passionate support from their fans, who pushed the French supporters to small pockets at the stadium, Morocco put up a big fight, showing some dazzling passing skills.

Despite suffering an injury blow in the first half when captain Romain Saiss had to come off in the 21st minute, the Moroccans kept hurting the French midfield with their exquisite one-twos in the final third.

Morocco’s best chance came on the stroke of half-time when goalkeeper Hugo Lloris needed to dive to palm away Jawad El Yamiq's bicycle kick.

The Moroccans kept pressing hard for a goal in the second half, but it was France that found the back of the net 79th minute.

Following a swift counterattack, French superstar Kylian Mbappe found the ball in a crowded Moroccan box.

Showing remarkable composure and close control, the PSG striker released the ball, allowing Muani to score France’s second goal.

It was a goal that ended the Moroccan hopes and kept the French dream alive of becoming only the third team after Italy and Brazil to defend the World Cup title.

ALSO READ:


More news from Sports