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France 2-0 Morocco: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

All the reaction as France reach a second successive World Cup final at the expense of Morocco.


Morocco’s historic World Cup dream finally came to an end after they dominated World Champions France but were ultimately undone by two moments of quality as France reached successive World Cup finals for the first time in their history.

The Atlas Lions, becoming the first African side to play in a World Cup semi-final, were almost immediately handed a mountain to climb as a scrappy passage of play saw Theo Hernandez hand Les Blues the early advantage.

A cross from Antoine Griezmann found Kylian Mbappe, whose bobbling deflected effort found the France left-back, who in turn fired home despite the valiant effort of the Moroccan defender on the line.

Morocco, who were forced into an early change after injury to Roman Saiss, grew into the game however, and were denied a penalty for an odd challenge by Theo Hernandez following a slip, which saw Boufal booked rather than the French defender.

Moments before half-time, they created another excellent chance through a piece of sheer magic, with El-Yamiq seeing his bicycle kick turned onto the post by Hugo Lloris as the Atlas Lions continued to stretch the World Champions.

The second half began in similar fashion, with Morocco creating several excellent chances but just failing to find the final ball, roared on by the 50 thousand-odd Moroccan fans in the stadium.

But though they had plenty of endeavour, they lacked the precision to carve open Les Blues and level the scoring, while they left themselves increasingly open in defence as they sought a precious equaliser.

And the quality ultimately told, with Kylian Mbappe dancing past four defenders before his deflected shot found substitute Randal Kolo Muani four yards out and unmarked to put the game to bed, and set up a date with Argentina for Didier Deschamps’ side.


Player Ratings

France

  • GK: Hugo Lloris (7): Was the busier goalkeeper and made two excellent saves to keep Morocco out.
  • RB: Jules Kounde (6): Struggled against the skilful Moroccan wingers, but wasn’t offered much support by those in front of him. Made an excellent goalline clearance in added time.
  • CB: Raphael Varane (6): Solid but unspectacular for Les Blues.
  • CB: Ibrahima Konate (8): Came into the side for an ill Upamecano and slotted straight in. Was France’s most impressive defender.
  • LB: Theo Hernandez (6): Took his early goal well but then really struggled against a combination of Ziyech and Hakimi.
  • CM: Youssef Fofana (6): Solid on his return to the starting XI, though unlikely to have done enough to keep his place for Sunday’s showpiece.
  • CM: Aurelian Tchouameni (8): Fantastic in the heart of midfield for France, shielding the defence well and frequently setting French attackers away on counter-attacks.
  • CM: Antoine Griezmann (8): Excellent once again in the heart of the French midfield.
  • RW: Ousmane Dembele (5): Never once got the beating of his fullback
  • ST: Olivier Giroud (6): Not the strikers best day but nonetheless struck the post with a fierce effort.
  • LW: Kylian Mbappe (6): A quiet night for the superstar for the most part, but it was his mesmerising run that set up the second French goal.

Substitutes

  • Marcus Thuram (7): Impressed with his endeavour when he came on.
  • Randal Kolo-Muani (8): Scored with his first touch to send Les Blues to the final. All in a day’s work for the youngster.

Morocco

  • GK: Yassine Bounou (6): Had very little to do.
  • RWB: Achraf Hakimi (7): Exploited the space left by Kylian Mbappe very well and didn’t shirk his defensive duties either.
  • CB: Roman Saiss (5): Lasted exactly 20 minutes before being forced off with injury. Looked to be really struggling before heading off in a massive blow to Morocco.
  • CB: Jawad Al-Yamiq (6): Was at fault for France’s opening goal after trying to nip in ahead of Griezmann, but otherwise didn’t put a foot wrong across the 90 minutes.
  • CB: Achraf Dari (7): Came in for Nayef Aguerd at short notice and was excellent.
  • LWB: Noussair Mazraoui (6): Was solid against Ousmane Dembele but was taken off at the break with injury.
  • RM: Hakim Ziyech (7): Morocco’s most dangerous player but just couldn’t find a way past the French defence.
  • CM: Azzedine Ounahi (8): Went close with an effort in the first half and turned in another excellent display in the heart of the French midfield.
  • CM: Sofyan Amrabat (8): Another excellent outing for Amrabat, who has serious chances of being named player of the tournament. Executed one particular sliding challenge on Kylian Mbappe to perfection.
  • LM: Sofiane Boufal (7): Looked a constant threat but could never find the end product needed for his side.
  • ST: Youssef En-Nesyri (5): A quiet night for the Sevilla man, who was taken off just after the hour after hardly having had a kick.

Substitutes

  • Selim Amallah (7): Came on for Saiss and did well marshalling the Moroccan midfield, but was taken off again 10 minutes from time with his side chasing an equaliser.
  • Yahia Attiyat Allah (7): Defended well when coming on at half-time, and kept Ousmane Dembele very quiet throughout the second half.
  • Zakaria Aboukhlal (5): Couldn’t really get into the game after coming on.
  • Abderrazak Hamdallah (5): Squandered a glorious chance when he failed to shoot, but offered more than En-Nesyri had after coming on.
  • Abde Ezzalzouli (6): Was bright when he came on but couldn’t change the outcome.

Key Stats

Expert Analysis

Fan Reaction

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