Al Khor, Qatar — France are on their way to a second consecutive World Cup final after goals from theo hernandez and substitute Randall Colo Muni Gave les blues 2-0 win above Morocco on Wednesday at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Hernandez volley past yassin bounou With only five minutes left of the game, and although Morocco put up a spirited and defiant display, they were unable to find a way through time and conceded again 11 minutes later as Kolo Muani tapped home after good work kilian mbappe, France must face Argentina at Lusail Stadium in Sunday’s final.
1. France given chance for back-to-back World Cups
only Brazil in 1962 and Italy They have never successfully defended the World Cup since 1938, but France could join that illustrious group after reaching the final with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Morocco. absolutely against england At the quarterfinal stage, Didier Descamps’ team were down on their luck at times and were solid rather than stylish, relying on some dogged and sometimes desperate defending to hold back a Moroccan team roared on by their tireless supporters. doing.
France, watched here by President Emmanuel Macron, were functional when they won in Russia four years ago and an early goal enabled them to sit out here once again, although Morocco gave them several scares before Kolo Muni’s late goal. It’s hard to argue with Deschamps’ results, though, as France has now qualified for three finals in its last four major tournaments. The last team to reach back-to-back finals was Brazil in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
2. Injuries weaken Morocco’s tenacious defense
Prior to Wednesday, not a single opposition player had scored against Morocco in these finals, the only goal coming from a Naif Aguird Own-goal in their group-stage win Canada, Aguerde (groin) was one of four players who had doubts over fitness coming into this match, but coach Walid Regargui named all four in his starting lineup. Romain Sais (Thigh), sofian amarbat (back and Nussair Mazroui (disease) are included. However, Agurd did not come through the warm-up, forcing Morocco to make a late change. Achraf Dari While Sass lasted just 21 minutes before getting injured.
Perhaps the late shuffle contributed to Hernandez’s opening goal antoine griezmann Finding space after Jawad Al Yameek’s missed interception to help make the breakthrough. The Moroccan was a constant threat going forward, and in fairness to Amrbat, he won the ball back five times in the opening 15 minutes. France sat back and Morocco looked to run, finishing with 61% possession, but they were more open at the back than at any other point in the tournament.
Ultimately, France was able to take them. Mbappé had a quiet evening but one of his trademark runs ended in a shot that coincidentally broke over for Kolo Muani to end the contest.
2. Hernandez’s rollercoaster tournament continues
He started the tournament on the bench. He came after his elder brother got hurt, lucas hernandez, He almost cost France a quarter-final win over England by conceding a late penalty harry kane Skid on the crossbar. And now he has taken France to the final.
It’s never quiet when Theo Hernandez is concerned. His goal, a well-taken volley after just four minutes and 39 seconds, was the fastest in a World Cup semi-final since Vava scored in the second minute of Brazil’s 5–2 win against France in 1958. After two assists in the group stage, this was his third goal contribution in these finals, a joint-high for a defender. rafael guerrero,
However, he was fortunate not to concede another penalty when challenged Sofiane Boufal In the 27th minute. Replays showed Boufal got something on the ball before Hernandez tackled him, but Canada’s VAR Drew Fischer decided not to intervene. In fact, Boufal was booked. It has turned out to be a rollercoaster tournament for the 25-year-old, who now has the chance to emulate his brother, who was the starting left-back in France’s victorious France team four years ago in yet another moment of luck.
Player Rating (1 = worst, 10 = best)
France: hugo loris 7, Jules Conde 7, rafael verne 7, Ibrahima Konate 8, Theo Hernandez 7, aurelian tchoumeni 8, Joseph Fofana 7, Ousmane Dembele 7, Antoine Griezmann 8, Kylian Mbappe 7, Olivier Giroud 6
sub: marcus thurm 7, Randall Kolo Muani 7
best and worst performers
Best: Antoine Griezmann, France. Created more chances (four) than any player on either team and helped provide France’s early success with a clever move in the build-up to Hernández’s opener.
The Bad: Olivier Giroud, France. missed a great chance to put France 2-0 up in the first half and les blues Looked better when he was replaced by Thuram in a tactical change.
Highlights and Notable Moments
so much here for the heartwarming moment in between Paris Saint Germain Teammates Embappé and Hakimi in the tunnel before the match.
Nothing but love between Hakimi and Embappé in the tunnel before the match ❤️ pic.twitter.com/cK45kpucjs
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 14, 2022
Hernandez gets his boot on the way to score the decisive goal.
defending champion score first
Theo Hernandez puts France ahead 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/8YFbCwGN9d
— Fox Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 14, 2022
After the match: What the players and managers said
regragui: “We gave our best and I can’t ask for more. We lost a few players before the game and during the match as well. The players who came in did their best. Ultimately, if you make a few mistakes against a team like France , you give big time.”
Hernandez: “To play twice in a row is unbelievable. We have done a good job to reach the final and it will be a tough match against Argentina.”
Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)
Hernández’s goal was the fastest scored in a World Cup semi-final since Vava’s hit for Brazil against France in the second minute of the 1958 semi-final.
– An-Nesri is the first player to play at least 60 minutes in a World Cup game and have fewer than five touches since at least 1966.
Griezmann is the first Frenchman to score exactly 20 chances in a single World Cup since Youri Djorkaeff scored exactly 20 in 1998. Griezmann is the first French player to score more than 20 chances at the World Cup since Alain Griese in 1986 when he scored 24.
– Kolo Muni scored with his first touch of the game.
France: les blues Head to Sunday’s World Cup final when they take on Messi and Argentina at 10PM ET.
Morocco: Next scheduled for Morocco is an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa on 12 June.