France vs. Morocco WC 2022 Post-match Analysis: France defeats phenomenon Morocco to set up Argentina's final
Morocco's fairytale ends as reigning champions France defeat them 2-0 to go to the World Cup men's final against Lionel Messi and Argentina. At the Al-Bayt Stadium, which was jam-packed with Moroccan fans, France got off to a dream start when defender Theo Hernández scored after just five minutes.
In the first half, Morocco had the most of the ball despite losing three defenders due to injury: left back Noussair Mazraoui at halftime, fellow center back Romain Sass after 20 minutes, and defender Nayef Aguerd after the warm-up. Randal Kolo Muani, who came on in the second half, silenced the fans with a tap-in at the back post in the 79th minute to seal the outcome. In the first half, Olivier Giroud and Jawad El-Yamiq both missed the post while Morocco had several chances to terminate their chances of making a spectacular final appearance but were unable to capitalize on any of them.
There was no doubt as to who the majority of the fans wanted to advance to face Argentina in the final on Monday AM AEDT. Although France was hoping to make it to back-to-back finals for the first time. The loud, frantic performance of the Moroccan National Anthem followed by the whistled and jeered La Marseillaise made it plain that France would have to deal with both Morocco and the audience. However, they were quiet barely five minutes into the match when Hernández skillfully rifled a high, bouncing ball into the back post of the net to give France the lead.
Theo Hernandez gives France a 1-0 lead
Walid Regragui, the coach of Morocco, switched to a system that the Atlas Lions had never used before in this tournament: five at the back, seemingly in an effort to protect his seasoned center backs. The loss of Aguerd before to the game did not change that strategy, but Sass's exit after 20 minutes did force a return to four at the back, and they immediately improved as a result. Although Giroud did miss the post and miss wide when he might have done better, Morocco began to exert more pressure at the midway point of the first half thanks to the ever-impressive Hakim Ziyech.
El-spectacular Yamiq's attempt that bounced against the post just before halftime came from a Ziyech cross, a strike that undoubtedly inspired the Moroccans. Even though they made a lot of offensive raids in the second half, France, spearheaded by Antoine Griezmann in the middle of the field, foiled each one. Two excellent opportunities for Abderrazak Hamdallah to draw the game were stopped by some desperate defence as the French started to show the weaknesses they had shown throughout the tournament.
Randal Kolo Muan had a perfect debut
But Kolo Muani's first-touch goal, which was made possible by outstanding work from Kylian Mbappé and fellow replacement Marcus Thuram, dispelled any concerns and made France the first side to make back-to-back finals since Brazil in 2002. Whether France can manage the skills of Messi and Argentina will determine whether they can become the third side, following Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962, to win the title in two consecutive championships.