France defeated Morocco 2-0 on Wednesday to advance to the World Cup final against Argentina. Goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani made it possible.
After another strong showing at Al Bayt Stadium, Didier Deschamps’ team became the first defending champions since Brazil in 1998 to advance to the championship game.
Hernandez scored as France quickly took the lead against Africa’s first World Cup semifinalist, even though Morocco had been in control for the majority of the match.
The pressure didn’t pay off, and Kolo Muani’s second goal in the 79th minute ensured that France’s quest to become just the third team to successfully defend its world championship would continue into Sunday’s championship match against Argentina.
After Kylian Mbappe had two shots blocked, the second one deflected to the left-back, who skillfully finished at the back post, giving France an early lead.
After Jawad El Yamiq denied Kylian Mbappe with a last-ditch clearance, Olivier Giroud smashed a left-footed strike against Yassine Bounou’s right post and then missed a glorious opportunity to score.
On the verge of halftime, El Yamiq came close to tying the score with an incredible overhead kick from Hakim Ziyech’s corner, but Hugo Lloris and his right post saved them.
After the break, with Deschamps’ team pinned back, Raphael Varane made a crucial intervention to deny Youssef En-Nesyri, and France went on to win with 11 minutes left.
Morocco’s incredible run came to an end when Kolo Muani, who had just come off the bench, was in position to finish off a deflected Mbappe shot at the far post.
France’s next fixture
France will meet Argentina at Lusail Stadium in four days’ time, while Morocco face Croatia in a third-place play-off on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium.