France extinguish Morocco dream to reach World Cup final

Lusail Stadium will play host to Messi-Mbappe showdown after history-making Africans narrowly defeated by defending champions.

  • Theo Hernandez and substitute Randal Kolo Muani score French goals
  • Morocco fall just short of becoming first African nation in World Cup final
  • Didier Deshamps' team will aim to regain Trophy in Argentina clash

France 2-0 Morocco

Goals: France: Hernandez (5), Kolo Muani (79)

Match review

It can’t have happened on too many occasions in 21 previous editions, but a team reached the World Cup final and weren’t the main story of the night.

France led from the fifth minute against Morocco, Theo Hernandez becoming the first opposition player to score past Yassine Bounou in six matches in Qatar when the left-back despatched an awkward ball with an agilely dispatched effort.

Didier Deschamps’ team deserve every plaudit they receive for winning a fourth World Cup semi-final inside the regulation 90 minutes. France will aim to become the first back-to-back winners since Brazil in 1962 when they face Argentina at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

It is a mouth-watering final with all the makings of a classic. The teams last met at Russia 2018 when the French, inspired by a teenage Kylian Mbappe, won a cracking contest 4-3. Mbappe, attempting to win his second World Cup, against Paris Saint-Germain colleague Lionel Messi, pursuing his most cherished prize, is one of multiple narratives to whet the appetite over the next few days.

But Morocco exit this World Cup as history makers and following a performance packed with courage and spirit and perseverance. The first team from Africa and the Arab world to play in a World Cup semi-final, they dug into the deepest reserves of endurance and character in an attempt to go one better.

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