2022 World Cup: France 2-0 Morocco: Hernandez and Kolo Muani send champions to final

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France set up a World Cup final against Argentina after goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani secured a 2-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday.

Didier Deschamps’ side became the first defending champions since Brazil in 1998 to return to the final at the next edition with another efficient performance at Al Bayt Stadium.

Hernandez struck as France raced into a fifth-minute lead against Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalists, although Morocco were in the ascendancy for large parts.

That pressure brought no reward and substitute Kolo Muani’s 79th-minute second ensured France’s bid to become just the third side to retain their global crown continued into Sunday’s final against Argentina.

El Yamiq almost levelled with a sensational overhead kick from Hakim Ziyech’s corner on the stroke of half-time, only to be denied by a stretching Hugo Lloris and his right post.

Raphael Varane produced a vital intervention to thwart Youssef En-Nesyri after the interval as Deschamps’ men were pinned back, before France sealed victory with 11 minutes remaining.

A deflected Mbappe strike rolled into the path for Kolo Muani, just off the bench, to tap in at the far post as Morocco’s fairytale run came to an end.

— Ferdinand A Baah