By: Gyang Dakwo
Defending champion France ended Morocco’s 2022 World Cup dream on Wednesday thanks to a 2-0 victory at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Theo Hernández scored on five minutes with an acrobatic finish, with substitute Randal Kolo Muani tapping home late on as France reached its fourth World Cup final just four years after winning in Russia.
However, Morocco, the first African team to reach the semifinal stage of the World Cup, can go home with its head held high after running France close before Kolo Muani’s decisive strike.
Having captured the hearts and minds of the footballing world, it was a sad end to Morocco’s aspirations. But having given reigning champion France a run for its money, Morocco leaves the competition knowing it has achieved more than just success on the pitch.
France is the first defending World Cup champion to reach the final in two decades. Lionel Messi and Argentina now await as France seeks to win back-to-back World Cup titles.
“Here we go again. It’s just an amazing feeling,” France captain Hugo Lloris said afterwards. “We suffered a lot, especially in the second half. We played too deep and they showed they’re not a team only focused on defending. They know how to attack. They deserve a lot of credit for this World Cup.