DUBAI – World Cup defending champions France are on course to retaining the coveted trophy they won it in 2018.
This Wednesday night, December 14, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar, the Les Blues struggled against Atlas Lions of Morocco but eventually prevailed courtesy of a goal in each half which the Africans tried in vain to erase.
Disaster struck for the Qatar 2022 revelations as early as the 5th minute – no thanks to uncharacteristic poor defending.
Antoine Griezmann had tried to pick out Kylian Mbappe, who missed with his first strike.
His second strike was a deflection and it fell to Theo Hernandez, who fired past Yassine Bono in the Morocco goal.
As Morocco pressed forward in the hope of getting an equaliser, substitute Randal Kolo Muani – barely a minute in the game – latched home from close range following an Mbappe assist in 79 minutes.
With the match ending 2-0, the stage has become set for Mbappe and PSG teammate Lionel Messi – who is seeking his first World Cup trophy – to clash when France take on Croatia’s conquerors, Argentina, in Sunday’s final at 15:00 GMT.
Morocco, the first Arab and African side to make it to a World Cup semi-final, will play Croatia in the third-place match on Saturday.