With the remaining spot in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup up for grabs, France and Morocco were battling out in a fierce encounter to set up a matchup against Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the finale. Les Bleus came out on top in the tight contest against the Atlas Lions, and a 2-0 scoreline cannot do the latter any justice as they played equally well as the defending world champion, but sadly could not find a breakthrough.
Drawing an Early First Blood
France started the game in superb fashion just like they did versus England in the quarterfinal, and they did not have to wait long to get into the lead. A perfect through ball by Raphaël Varane allowed Antoine Griezmann to tear off the Moroccan defence, before sending a pass to the in-form Kylian Mbappé. Both shots from the 23-year-old forward were blocked by Morocco, but the second one fell kindly for Theo Hernández to finish off with a cool acrobatic volley. It was only Morocco’s second conceded goal in the entire tournament.
62% Possession for the Atlas Lions
The goal blew the game wide open as both teams started to throw punches at each other, in which a total of 27 shots were recorded in 90 minutes plus added time. France’s newly-crowned all-time top scorer Olivier Giroud had multiple dangerous shots in the first half, one of them hit the left side of the post while the other was fired wide to the left even though time and space were on his side. His fruitless efforts were almost punished by Morocco as Real Valladolid defender Jawad El Yamiq’s bicycle kick from a Moroccan corner was repelled by the French goal post. The scoreline remained till the end of the first 45 minutes.
Walid Regragui’s men dominated Didier Deschmaps’ side in terms of ball possession and continued their quest of finding an equaliser in the second half, but to no avail; The lack of finishing from the African side was soon capitalised by the French, where Randal Kolo Muani, who came on for Ousmane Dembélé utilised his first touch of the game to score his first international goal in four appearances for Les Bleus. The substitute’s goal killed off any remaining hope by the Atlas Lions.
ARGENTINA VS. FRANCE
THE WORLD CUP FINAL IS SET 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Mwcor0bcgP
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 14, 2022
Deschamps’ Men Through to Consecutive Finals, Morocco Still in Contention of Winning Africa’s First World Cup Medal
With the semifinal victory in the bag, France earned another ticket to the FIFA World Cup final, becoming the first nation to do so since Brazil did it in 2002, and first European member to reach back-to-back finals since Germany in 1990. As for Walid Regragui’s squad, they will have the chance of getting the first World Cup medal in their continent when they take on the loser of the other semifinal matchup, Croatia in the third place playoff.
These are the players that could win the Golden Ball award: https://www.watchworldcup.org/golden-ball-race-tracker-who-will-be-the-best-player-of-the-2022-fifa-world-cup/
(Photo Credits: CTV News)