Qatar World Cup: France Becomes Third Country in History to Win Back-to-Back World Cups! France Defeats Morocco 2-0, Heads to Final with Argentina


Last Updated on 12/15/2022 by てんしょく飯


On December 14, France beat Morocco 2-0 in the semifinals of the Qatar World Cup. France will play Argentina in the final on December 18, aiming to become the first nation to win the World Cup in 36 years since Mexico in 1986.



[12.14 Qatar World Cup Semifinal France 2-0 Morocco Al-Hoor]

The two countries used to have a suzerain relationship, and this is a fateful matchup between the two. Morocco, the first African nation and the first Arab nation in history to make it to the top four, was cheered on by a huge crowd that filled the Al Bayt Stadium in northern Qatar to the brim.


France made two changes from their quarterfinal match against England (2-1), with midfielder Adrien Rabiot (Juventus) and defender Dayo Upamecano (Bayern) replaced by midfielder Youssef Fofana (Monaco) and defender Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool).


Against Morocco, DF Noucea Mazraoui (Bayern) returned to the starting lineup after missing the quarterfinal match against Portugal (1-0) due to injury. Defender Naif Aggerd (West Ham) was also expected to return to the starting lineup, but a recurrence of the injury during warm-ups forced defender Akraf Dali (Brest) to start in his place.


In the match, France quickly opened the scoring amidst loud cheering for Morocco. Amidst the boos and whistles, a through ball from Raphael Varane (Manchester U) was passed to Antoine Griezmann (A. Madrid), who turned it into the path of Kylian Mbappe (Paris SG), who fired a shot into the top corner that was blocked by the Moroccan defenders. Theo Hernandez (Milan), who had a shot blocked by the opposing defense, reacted to the rebound and poked an acrobatic volley into the net.


It was a lightning-fast first goal. Morocco, however, showed no signs of slowing down as their supporters cheered them on. In the ninth minute of the first half, defender Akoulay Hakimi (Paris SG) stopped a breakaway by his colleague Mbappe, sending the stadium into a frenzy, and Morocco continued to hold onto the ball and attack. In the 10th minute, midfielder Azzedine Unahi (Angers) played a one-two with Mazraoui and fired home a shot that beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (Tottenham).


France’s first goal came in the 17th minute when Olivier Giroud (Milan) slipped in a simple long feed from Konate, but his left-footed shot was deflected off the left post. Morocco’s defender Romain Saiss (Beşiktaş), who had started but was reportedly injured, was unable to continue and was replaced in the 20th minute. The team was without two center backs from earlier in the match, and changed the system from 5-4-1 to 4-1-4-1 with midfielder Selim Amara (Stendal Liège).


Morocco’s momentum continued, however, and in the 31st minute of the first half, FW Sofiane Boufal (Angers) and Mazraoui combined to break down the left flank, and Unahi again fired home a close-range shot. In the 36th minute, Mbappe got away with a great breakthrough and through ball by midfielder Aurélien Chouameni (R. Madrid), but he could not get a shot away, and Giroud’s shot from Chouameni’s second ball was also wide.


Morocco created a series of chances in the final minutes of the first half from place kicks by FW Hakim Ziyek (Chelsea). In the 44th minute, defender Jawad El Yamik (Valladolid) had a bicycle shot that hit the left corner of the goal and was just barely cleared out by Lloris. The teams went into halftime with a one-goal deficit, but the second half held promise.


Nevertheless, at the start of the second half, Morocco was forced to replace Mazraoui, who was returning from injury, with defender Yahia Atiyat Allah (Widad AC), and the Moroccans were able to take advantage of the fact that the players who had been leading the way so far in the tournament had been in the thick of the action. The burden on the core players who had led Morocco’s progress to this point became apparent. In the second minute of the second half, Mbappe dribbled down the left flank and created a chance for the French side with a turnaround pass. The reigning champions increased the pressure.


Six minutes into the second half, Mbappe broke the deadlock with a powerful dribble down the left flank. But Morocco’s midfielder Sofian Amrabat (Fiorentina) made a hard sliding tackle. Mbappe was temporarily unable to get up, and Morocco took advantage, creating one decisive goal after another from crosses. But, thanks to good defending by Balan and Konate, Morocco were unable to get a shot off in good shape.


Morocco continued to play well on the right flank, but were unable to break down the French defensive block. In the 20th minute of the second half, France replaced Giroud with FW Marcus Thuram (Borussia MG) on the left wing and moved Mbappe to the front line to clarify their counter-attacking.


Morocco’s attack with the ball began in the 30th minute of the second half when Abdelrazak Hamdallah (Al Ittehad) took the ball from Chouameni and dribbled into the penalty area, only to be denied by the physical defense of defender Jules Kouandet (Barcelona).


In the 34th minute of the second half, France got things going again. Mbappe, who had been linked up with Tulum in front of the goal, took a double touch and headed a right-foot shot past a defender. The first touch was enough for Kolo Muani (Frankfurt) to add the extras.


Kolo Mouani, 24, born in 1998, is Frankfurt’s ace striker, a colleague of midfielder Daichi Kamata and Makoto Hasebe, and was selected for the World Cup squad as an addition due to the injury of midfielder Christopher Enkunku (Leipzig), who left the tour of Japan at short notice to come to Qatar and score his first goal in the World Cup semi-final. He scored his first goal for the national team on the big stage of the World Cup semi-finals.


Morocco continued to hold the ball, but France kept their composure and bounced the ball back with a compact defensive block. The French team was able to keep the ball in their hands and bounce back with a compact defensive block, and although Morocco was forced to go deep in added time, they were able to hold on to the ball thanks to the physical defense of Kunde. Morocco will play Croatia for third place on December 17.