FIFA World Cup 2022: France beat Morocco to reach final
FIFA World Cup holders France have reached the final of the tournament in the 2022 edition being held in Qatar. Didier Deschamps' side overcame Morocco 2-0 in a crucial semi-final clash. Goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani handed France a convincing win. France will now meet Argentina in the final. Earlier, Argentina overcame Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final clash.
Contrasting numbers for Kolo Muani and En-Nesyri
As per Opta, Kolo Muani has now scored the third-quickest goal for a substitute in FIFA World Cup history (44 seconds after coming on). He is only behind Morales in 2002 (16 seconds) and Sand in 1998 (26 seconds). Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri had three touches against France, the fewest on record (since 1966) by any player to play 45+ minutes in a WC match.
Here are the key match stats
France had 14 attempts with three of them being on target. Morocco also had three shots on target from 13 attempts. Morocco had 62% of the but failed to find the killer instinct in front of the goal as France held their fort.
France reach successive World Cup finals
France have reached successive World Cup finals, winning the edition in 2018. Overall, they have now booked their fourth final berth in FIFA World Cup history. France beat Brazil in 1998 and lost to Italy in 2006.
Major records for France
France are now the first nation to reach successive World Cup finals since Brazil in 2022. France are also the first European side to reach successive WC finals since Germany in 1990. As per Opta, France have never lost a World Cup match when leading at half-time, winning on 26 occasions and drawing once.
How did the match pan out?
France went ahead in the 5th minute when Hernandez converted from close range following Kylian Mbappe's blocked shot. France had chances but spurned the same. Before half-time, Morocco grew into the match. Jawad El Yamiq struck the post with an overhead kick as Azz-Eddine Ounahi tested Hugo Lloris prior to that. Kolo Muani handed France a second late on in the 2nd half.
France join an elite list
Six nations in men's FIFA World Cup history have reached back-to-back finals: Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, and now France. However, only Italy and Brazil have defended a title and France can become the third side to do so.