Undefeated since the beginning of the competition, Morocco fell to France in the semi-finals of the World Cup 2022 (2-0). The world champions will defend their title on Sunday against Argentina and the Atlas Lions will try to climb on the podium on Saturday.
For the first time since the beginning of the World Cup, Walid Regragui had decided to start with five defenders. The Moroccan coach certainly wanted, both to have a central man to help Hakimi on Mbappé's runs and to keep an eye on Olivier Giroud, who is very strong in the head. But his plan quickly showed flaws. His move did not work at all. On the contrary. It took only five minutes for the French to break down the Moroccan lock, despite having the tightest defense in the tournament.
Griezmann, launched in depth by Raphael Varane, took advantage of a misjudgment of a Moroccan defender to rush into the box. His cross came to Kylian Mbappé whose shot, poorly saved by the Atlas Lions' defense, found Theo Hernandez alone. The AC Milan left back beat Yassine Bounou and sent the ball into the net (1-0).
For the first time since he took over from Coach Vahid on the bench, Regragui is leading. And to make matters worse, the technician still has to take out his captain Romain Saiss who has obviously not recovered from his injury.
Trailing, Morocco tries to react on a shot from Azzédine Ounahi but very often close to punishment from the French who, after each recovery, launch their arrows and make the Atlas Lions be on their toes. It is only at the approach of the break that Ziyech and his teammates showed splashes of themselves on a set piece. El Yamiq, mounted, succeeds in a nice acrobatic return but saved brilliantly by Lloris.
The Moroccans come back with the same intention to push the French and to go for the equalization. However, it is the French who manage to make the break thanks to Kolo Muani who, with his first touch, concludes a festival of Kylian Mbappé. 2-0 in the 79th minute, the dice were cast. Morocco will not play the grand final on Sunday. But the Atlas Lions will be able to get a historic bronze medal against Croatia. The gold and the Cup will be played between France of Mbappé and Argentina of Messi. A remake of the 8th final of the 2018 edition in Russia. Les Bleus had won brilliantly 4-3.
France 🇫🇷 are headed back to the #FIFAWorldCup Final!
Re-live this epic semi-final in just 60 seconds! ⏲️ pic.twitter.com/q2vnHh6lCx
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 14, 2022