France set up a World Cup final showdown against Argentina as Randal Kolo Muani’s goal 44 seconds after coming off the bench helped secure a 2-0 victory over Morocco in the last four.
Reigning champions France, seeking to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups since Brazil in 1962, took the lead after only five minutes when defender Theo Hernandez finished acrobatically from close range.
Despite underdogs Morocco coming into the match with little chance of reaching the final, the Moroccans showed why they had become the first African team to reach the semi-finals of this tournament.
Although the first half was tightly contested, Les Bleus started incredibly well after Theo Hernandez scored the opening goal of the match just five minutes after the start. Raphaël Varane found Griezmann unmarked with a lovely pass and the Atletico player fed Kylian Mbappé inside the box. The PSG striker’s shot was blocked by Morocco’s defence but Theo Hernandez made the most from the rebound and beat Yassine Bounou with an acrobatic finish.
Morocco were not about to give up and managed to put Didier Deschamps’ defense under pressure. They even came close to equalizing before the break when in the 43rd minute an incredible El Yamiq bicycle kick hit the post.
At the start of the second half Walid Regragui’s team showed the soul and confidence that had taken them to the semi-finals and managed to create a number of chances for the French, who thanks to some impressive defending managed to prevent them from drawing the match.
Just when it looked like the Atlas Lions might score and put France in trouble, Didier Deschamps found the solution. Kolo Muani replaced Ousmane Dembélé and just seconds after coming on the pitch he extended the lead for France by scoring the second goal.
France will face Argentina, who beat Croatia 3-0 in the other semi-final on Tuesday, in Sunday’s final as they seek to defend their crown in a contest which pits Mbappe against Lionel Messi, while Morocco have to settle for a third-place play-off to conclude their outstanding tournament against Croatia on Saturday 17th December.