France beats Morocco to reach second straight final

In Wednesday’s semi-final, France beats Morocco 2-0 to advance to the World Cup final against Argentina. Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani advanced France to their fourth World Cup final, making them the first team to retain the cup since Brazil in 1958. They delivered an early sucker punch to Morocco before sealing the deal 11 minutes from time, setting up a showdown with Argentina on Sunday after Lionel Messi’s side demolished Croatia 3-0.

France beats Morocco to reach the second straight final.

Morocco gave France no respect and created numerous chances, nearly equalizing. Morocco’s bicycle shot hit the post, forcing the world champions to scramble several times. Because of their finishing, the world champions won in five minutes. France seized the lead when Hernandez converted their first opportunity.

To complete a sweeping play started by Antoine Griezmann’s run down the right and Kylian Mbappe’s cutback ball, he had to lift his left foot high. Kolo Muani scored with his first touch after replacing Mbappe after his attempt was blocked. Mbappe’s battle with Achraf Hakimi was a competitive distraction. But France could have had at least two more goals when Olivier Giroud struck the post and then missed from close range.

Despite not reaching the last four, Morocco withdrew with their heads held high. They are the first African and Arab country to reach this far in the World Cup and can look forward to a stunning homecoming home after Saturday’s third-place playoff.

Hugo Lloris made a superb stop after Jawad El Yamiq’s halftime bicycle kick. Their last touch or decision-making, however, let them down. Nayef Aguerd and Romain Saiss both lasted less than 20 minutes. Aguero was warming up, and Saiss left early. Noussair Mazraoui exited at halftime.

“There’s emotion, there’s pride, there’s going to be a final step, we’ve been together with the players for a month, it’s never easy, there’s happiness so far,” said coach Didier Deschamps.

“We had some injuries, but that’s no excuse,” added Regragui. “We gave the maximum; that’s the most important.”


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