France Now Join That Illustrious Group After Reaching The 2022 Fifa World Cup Final

France are on their way to the 2022 FIFA World Cup final for the second time in a row after goals from Theo Hernandez and substitute Randal Kolo Muani gave Les Blues a 2-0 victory over Morocco on December 14 at Al Bayt Stadium.

With just five minutes remaining, Hernandez volleyed past Yassine Bounou to seal a victory. Morocco put on a spirited and determined display, but they were unable to find a way through and conceded again 11 minutes later when Kolo Muani tapped home after Kylian Mbappe’s good work. In the final on Sunday, France will face Argentina at Lusail Stadium.

France can join Brazil in 1962 and Italy in 1938 as the only teams to successfully defend the World Cup. However, France reached the final with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Morocco.

As they did against England in the quarterfinals, Didier Descamps’ team relied on some determined and sometimes desperate defending to stop a Morocco team that was booed on by their devoted fans. They were solid rather than stylish throughout.

Although Morocco gave them several scares prior to Kolo Muani’s late goal, France were very effective when they won in Russia four years ago, and the early goal allowed them to sit back again here. But Deschamps’ results are hard to argue with because France has qualified for three finals in their last four major tournaments. Brazil was the last team to reach consecutive finals in 1994, 1998, and 2002.

Interestingly, prior to their match with France, Morocco had not allowed a single opponent to score against them at the World Cup. Their only goal came from an own goal by Nayef Aguerd in their group stage victory over Canada.

With Romain Saiss (thigh), Sofyan Amrabat (back), and Noussair Mazraoui (illness) among the four players with fitness concerns heading into this game, coach Walid Regragui named all four to the starting lineup. Aguerd (groin) was one of those players.

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Aguerd, on the other hand, did not make it through the warmup, so Morocco had to make a late substitution with Achraf Dari, and Saiss only played for 21 minutes before getting hurt.

Antoine Griezmann found space following Jawad El Yamiq’s missed interception to help create the breakthrough, which may have been caused by the late reshuffle. In fairness to Amrabat, he won the ball back five times in the first 15 minutes alone, making Morocco a persistent threat going forward.

Morocco was willing to run the game and finished with 61% possession, but they were more open at the back than at any other point in the tournament. France sat back. Morocco was willing to run.

In the end, France was able to eliminate them. Mbappe had a quiet night, but one of his signature runs ended in a shot that Kolo Muani luckily missed to win the game.

Hernandez’s begun the competition on the bench. He came in after Lucas Hernandez, his older brother, was injured. He gave France a late penalty that Harry Kane skidded over the crossbar, and it almost cost them the victory over England in the quarterfinals. He has also helped France advance to the final.

Theo Hernandez scored in just four minutes and 39 seconds with a well-taken volley. It was the fastest goal in a World Cup semifinal since Vava scored in the second minute of Brazil’s 5-2 victory over France in 1958. His third goal at this tournament, tied with Raphael Guerreiro for most by a defender, came after he had two assists in the group stage.

He was lucky, in any case, not to yield another penalty while testing Sofiane Boufal in the 27th moment. Although VAR Drew Fischer of Canada decided not to intervene, replays appeared to show that Boufal had something on the ball before Hernandez tackled him.

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The 25-year-old now has a chance to emulate his brother, who was the starting left back for France’s successful team four years ago, in what has become a roller coaster tournament.

Subsequent to beating Morocco, France now advance to the final for an opportunity to win their second consecutive World Cup.

What the players had to say after the game:

Regragui: “We gave our best and I can’t ask for more. We lost a few players before the game and also during the match. The players who came in did their best. Ultimately, if you make a few mistakes against a team like France, you pay big-time.”

Hernandez: “It’s incredible to play two in a row. We’ve done good work to get to the final and it will be a tough match against Argentina.”

Important Facts:

  • Hernandez’s goal was the quickest scored in a World Cup semifinal since Vava struck for Brazil against France in the second minute of their 1958 semifinal.
  • En-Nesyri 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 French player to create 20 chances at a single men’s World Cup since Youri Djorkaeff created exactly 20 in 1998. Griezmann is the first French player with more than 20 chances created at a men’s World Cup since Alain Giresse created 24 in 1986.
  • Kolo Muani scored with his first touch of the game.

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