France will play the final against Argentina, bid farewell to Morocco

Kylian Mbappé’s France took a big step in the search for the second consecutive world title by qualifying for the World Cup final in Qatar this Wednesday after beating Morocco (2-0), the combative revelation team of the tournament.

Didier Deschamps’ ‘Bleus’ will now meet Lionel Messi’s Argentina on Sunday at the Lusail stadium, in what will be their fourth World Cup final, after France-1998, Germany-2006 and Russia- 2018.

The left-back Theo Hernández unlocked very early, with a left-footed shot in the 5th minute, a game that was expected to be closed between one of the most prolific attacks in the competition, France (12 goals), and the least vulnerable defense of the tournament, Morocco ( two).

And the attacker Randal Kolo Muani, in 79, crowned a great individual play by Kylian Mbappé to bring the Europeans closer to their third world title (1998, 2018).

The ‘Atlas Lions’, the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final, pushed the defending champions to the maximum at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, surprising even by taking possession of the ball despite the injuries of several of his men, especially in the rear.

Walid Regragui’s Moroccans will battle for third place against Luka Modric’s Croatia on Saturday at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

the bolt falls
The ‘Bleus’ quickly opened the Moroccan bolt, which did not succumb to attacks from Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. But not even the tranquility of a dressing room goal made the road easy.

Hernández was the author of the second goal that the ‘Atlas Lions’ conceded in the World Cup by taking advantage of the fact that a previous shot from Mbappé deflected off a defender and the ball was served to finish off between Yassine Bounou and the right post.

France knew how to exploit the wings of the Africans, who started the game with three center-backs, a tactical figure that quickly fell apart due to an apparent muscle injury to captain Romain Saiss (20).

That was not the only casualty that Regragui had to deal with. Minutes before the initial whistle, the center-back Nayef Aguerd was replaced, due to physical discomfort, by the right-back Achraf Dari.

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Without Saiss or Aguerd, Morocco returned to its traditional 4-3-3 (easily convertible to a 4-5-1).

With three or four defenders, they had chances to demand the French captain, Hugo Lloris, with a right hand from Azzedine Ounahi (10) and a Chilean from Jawad El-Yamiq (44) that crashed into the post.

Contrary to expectations, Morocco was the owner of the ball and France opted for counterattacking, taking advantage of the spaces left by the Africans in their fight to tie.

Olivier Giroud (17, 36) was close to extending the score in two left-footed actions: the first hit the post, and the second, slightly deflected, was the result of a previous action in which El-Yamiq rejected, centimeters from the arc line, a shot from Mbappé.

Mbappé buries the Moroccan hope
Although more prominence was expected from them, the defending champions, hissed every time they touched the ball by the Moroccan red tide, were pragmatic and balanced, avoiding being surprised by any whiplash from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri.

France did not resent the sick leave of midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who participated in the other five games and was replaced by Youssouf Fofana.

With or without him, Deschamps’s bet to protect his defense was to cede the initiative to a team that is characterized by counterattacking, and that nevertheless continued to bring Lloris danger.

But in the second half, although just as combative, they did not have the same teeth that they showed at the beginning of the game and Lloris was not so demanding.

Despite the fact that the action was generally far from their area of ​​preference, Mbappé and Ousmane Dembelé, guided by the cerebral and self-sacrificing Antoine Griezmann, were incisive whenever they displayed their speed and imbalance.

In this way, they buried any aspirations for a comeback when Aurelien Tchouaméni stole at the Moroccan exit and picked up at ’10’, who despite being surrounded by four men found ways to leave Kolo Muani with an empty goal.

The German Eintracht Frankfurt striker, who a minute earlier had entered for Dembelé, pushed her to score his first goal in a World Cup and bring France closer to a new world title.

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