FIFA WC 2022: France beat Morocco to set up final against
Morocco, a World Cup wild card, gave France a tough fight before the hosts secured a spot in Sunday’s championship game against Argentina.
The first African team to go to a World Cup semifinal did not falter in the face of early setbacks, including the injury to crucial defender Nayef Aguero after he was selected for the starting lineup and behind Theo Hernandez’s hurried fifth-minute goal.
Despite Morocco’s efforts and spirit, France was more ruthless and substituted. By converting Kylian Mbappe’s deflected shot 11 minutes from time at Lusail Stadium on Sunday, Kolo Muani assured they would successfully retain their championship against Argentina and Lionel Messi.
Before halftime, Morocco also lost the ineffective Romain Saiss to injury but was encouraged by their fervent fans. They came close to tying the score, mainly when a combination of the post and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris stopped Jawad El Yamiq’s overhead strike.
In the stifling atmosphere of Al Bayt Stadium, France maintained their calm while Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate stood out. France also had their opportunities, with Olivier Giroud hitting the post in the first half.
Morocco’s resistance was finally broken late in the game by the lurking Muani, proving that Didier Deschamps’ team was always a threat on the break.
Following Brazil’s victories in 1958 and 1962, France needed to maintain their composure to remain on track to become the first nation to retain the World Cup for 60 years.