FIFA World Cup holders France are through to another final after a disciplined performance against Morocco in the second semifinal on Wednesday night.
The defending champions defeated the historic Atlas Lions of Morocco 2-0 to set up a mouthwatering final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
Theo Hernandez and super-sub Randal Kolo Muani were the heroes for Les Blues after scoring in either half to lead France to back-to-back World Cup finals.
The second semi-final at the 2022 FIFA World Cup saw holders France battle history makers and the surprise package, the Atlas Lions of Morocco, at the Al Bayt Stadium for a place in the final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
Morocco started confidently but suffered an early setback when France opened the scoring in the fifth minute. An unusual uncertainty in the Moroccan defence allowed Les Bleus to take the lead after Theo Hernandez kept his composure to stylishly fire past Bounou. Hernandez became the first player to score against the Atlas Lions at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Morocco looked to get back swiftly into the game five minutes after going behind as Ounahi tested Lloris with an excellent effort. However, the veteran goalkeeper was alert and said ‘not today’ with a superb one-handed save.
France almost doubled their advantage in the 17th minute but Giroud watched as his effort came off the post as the Atlas Lions survived.
Morocco were almost back in the game on the stroke of halftime with an excellent acrobatic strike from inside the France box from El Yamiq. The defender reacted quickest to a ball from Ziyech before unleashing a bicycle kick that came off the post.
Morocco came into the second half all fired up, with the coach making a substitution before the start of the second 45 minutes.
The Lions started on the front foot and piled on the pressure in search of the decisive equaliser. But couldn’t find a way past the organised French backline.
The Atlas Lions have been able to keep Mbappe quiet in the semifinal but still trailed 1-0 heading into the final 15 minutes of the game. But with 11 minutes left to play, Mbappe was involved as France sealed the deal with the second goal of the game.
Substitute, Randal Kolo-Muani, with the easiest of finishes, doubled the advantage after superb work from Mbappe, who danced around a sea of Moroccan defenders before his attempt led to a loose ball that Kolo ran onto to poke home.
The dream is over for the Atlas Lions of Morocco, they have failed to make it to the final of the World Cup after the defeat to France. The Moroccans put up a gallant fight but France’s quality came through at both ends of the pitch in the end.