France booked their place in their second consecutive World Cup final today, defeating Morocco 2-0.
It was a quick start to the game for Les Bleus, who took the lead after just five minutes. Kylian Mbappe’s blocked shot fell kindly for Theo Hernandez, who finished at the near post from a tight angle.
But this didn’t deter Morocco, who came close to grabbing a quickfire equaliser. Azzedine Ounahi bent a strike from distance towards the far corner, but Hugo Lloris was equal to it.
France continued to create chances and will have been disappointed not to have grabbed a second before the break.
Olivier Giroud hit the outside of the post from Ibrahima Konate’s long ball, and then the veteran forward fired wide when well placed from Aurelien Tchoaumeni’s pass.
Just before half time, Morocco almost grabbed a sensational equaliser. Jawad El Yamiq attempted a bicycle kick from a corner, and Lloris had to be at full stretch to turn it onto the post.
After the break, the Atlas Lions pushed for a leveller. They got into several encouraging positions but were unable to find a way through.
With ten minutes remaining, France secured their place in the final with a second goal. Mbappe’s shot deflected into the path of Randal Kolo Muani, who tapped in from close range with his first touch.
This game proved to be one step too far for Morocco, who earned the respect of the world with an inspiring campaign. They will compete with Croatia for a bronze medal on Saturday.
As for France, they will face Argentina in the final on Sunday. Should they win, they will become only the third team to lift back-to-back World Cups, after Italy (1934, 1938) and Brazil (1958, 1962).
Hugo Lloris (7/10) – Made a couple of vital saves in the first half.
Jules Kounde (6/10) – Defended well enough, but contributed next to nothing going forward.
Raphael Varane (7/10) – Coped easily with the physical threat of En-Nesyri. Let little past him.
Ibrahima Konate (8/10) – Came into the starting XI and performed excellently. May have earned himself a start for the final.
Theo Hernandez (7/10) – Took his goal well. Sometimes caught out at the back.
Aurelien Tchouameni (7/10) – Excellent on the ball, although sometimes struggled against Ounahi and Amrabat.
Youssouf Fofana (6/10) – Battled hard and made a couple of tackles. Could have done more on the ball.
Ousmane Dembele (5/10) – Showed flashes of ability but was generally quiet.
Antoine Griezmann (8/10) *MOTM* – Brilliant work for the opening goal. Worked very hard and contributed loads defensively.
Kylian Mbappe (7/10) – Not at his best, but still heavily involved in both goals.
Olivier Giroud (5/10) – Missed two good chances in the first half. Substituted after the break.
Marcus Thuram (6/10)
Randal Kolo Muani (7/10)
Yassine Bounou (5/10) – Didn’t make any saves of note. Could do little about either goal.
Achraf Hakimi (6/10) – Had a tough task against Mbappe and coped admirably. Could have done more going forward.
Jawad El Yamiq (6/10) – Unlucky not to score with a bicycle kick in the first half. Handled Giroud fairly well, but got dragged out of position for the opener.
Achraf Dari (5/10) – Struggled a bit at the back. Given a tough time by France’s frontline.
Romain Saiss (NA/10) – Substituted early on with an injury.
Noussair Mazraoui (6/10) – Coped with the threat of Dembele well enough. Substituted at half time.
Hakim Ziyech (6/10) – A few nice touches and decent set-piece delivery. Not enough in open play.
Sofyan Amrabat (7/10) – Helped keep his side on the front foot with a combative display. Made one excellent tackle on Mbappe in the second half.
Azzedine Ounahi (7/10) – Worked hard and showed some of his technical quality.
Sofiane Boufal (6/10) – Got into some promising areas and caused some problems. Final ball let him down somewhat.
Youssef En-Nesyri (4/10) – Had three touches in his 66 minutes on the pitch. Very quiet.
Selim Amallah (6/10)
Yahya Attiat-Allah (6/10)
Abderrazak Hamdallah (5/10)
Zakaria Aboukhlal (5/10)
Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (5/10)
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