Al Khor, Qatar – France have put an end to Morocco’s dream of reaching a World Cup final, with a 2-0 victory that puts them on a path towards a potentially epic second straight World Cup victory.
Twenty-three-year-old phenom Kylian Mbappe was pivotal to both of France’s goals. His deflected effort barely five minutes into Wednesday’s match set up Theo Hernandez, while a magnificent attempt in the 79th minute led to Randal Kolo Muani’s easy tap-in to put the tense game to bed.
Morocco, the first African team to ever play in a World Cup semifinal, was causing problems for the reigning world champions throughout the encounter at Al Bayt Stadium, as they dominated possession and kept French keeper Hugo Lloris busy.
The Atlas Lions will now face 2018 finalists Croatia in the third-place playoff on Saturday, which will end their storybook run at the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, 2018 winners France dream of their own fairytale ending, hoping to become the first back-to-back winners since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.
On Sunday, they will face Argentina at Lusail Stadium, with Mbappe and Argentina legend Lionel Messi set to lead the two sides into a highly anticipated battle on the pitch.