Early goal by Hernandez and super-sub Kolo Muani send France to the final

Early goal by Hernandez and super-sub Kolo Muani send France to the final
Hernandez celebrates scoring the first goal
Hernandez celebrates scoring the first goal
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France will have a chance to defend their world champion status in the final against Argentina. They beat Morocco in the semi-final after goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani.

You can read the full match report here. We also followed the match through a liveblog which you can see below.

Second Half

France - Morocco match stats
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96': That's it - the champions are into the final!

94': The ball bounces around in the France box but Kounde makes a goal line clearance! Huge chance for Hamdallah...

94': Ounahi wins a corner with his shot, but it's defended by France.

92': What a challenge by Hakimi to take the ball from Mbappe.

90': 6 minutes to be added on.

90': Aboukhlal is offside as he tries to shoot at Lloris

87': Morocco still pushing, but it seems France will see out the match as the winners.

79': IMMEDIATE EFFECT BY KOLO MUANI! He scores seconds after coming onto the pitch after a great solo run and a pass by Mbappe.

78': Amallah, a substitute himself, is taken off and replaced by Ez Abde. On the French side, Kolo Muani replaces Dembele.

76': Hamdallah tries a solo run but unfortunately for Morocco it comes to nothing.

72': Thuram gets to Griezmann's cross from a free kick, his header just misses.

67': And two changes for Morocco - Hamdallah and Aboukhlal replace En-Nesyri and Boufal.

66': First change for France - Marcus Thuram replaces Giroud up front.

63': Morocco are trying to break through France's defence, but Ziyech's cross is cleared.

55': It's only a goal kick after Ziyech's efforts. Morocco pushing for the equalizer.

53': A dangerous cross into France's box but Attiat-Allah doesn't connect with the ball well. Then another pass tries to find En-Nesyri before the goal, but it's cleared away brilliantly by Konate.

51': Incredible sprint by Mbappe, but Amrabat stops him with a harsh challenge. Mbappe seems to be injured. What a blow would that be for France in the final or third place match...

47': Mbappe with a dangerous effort, then Kounde tries to shoot from outside the box. France start very active again.

We're back for the second half - Attiat-Allah replaces Mazraoui, as it seems the Bayern full back's injury has come back. 

First Half

Half time statistics
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France lead 1-0 at half time, but Morocco had some great chances too. Still all to play for in the second half.

45'+1: Lloris claims a corner despite spilling the ball for a second after an aerial duel with Hakimi.

44': WHAT A MASSIVE CHANCE FOR MOROCCO! El-Yamiq qith and overhead kick that Lloris tips onto the post!

39': A corner for France after another Griezmann effort. He takes the corner again and Varane shoots at the near post, but misses narrowly.

36': Two massive chances! Mbappe beats Bono, but one of the defenders clears the ball before the line, then Tchouameni returns to ball to Giroud whose just just misses!

34': First corner of the match after Griezmann's offensive efforts. He takes the corner himself, but it produces no danger as Fofana wires wide.

27': First yellow card given to Sofiane Boufal after a clash with Theo Hernandez. Could have easily been a yellow for the goalscorer and a penalty for Morocco though...

26': Hakimi tries to shoot from outside the box, but the shot is blocked.

21': Roman Saiss signals he needs to come off, seems like his injury isn't fully healed. Amallah replaces him and Ziyech takes his captain's armband.

17': A mistake by Saiss and Giroud hits the post with a rocket of a shot!

17': A pass from Boufal finds Ziyech in the box but his shot goes wide.

15': After fifteen minutes, we have the first foul of the match, by Fofana. Ziyech's free kick is cleared after.

10': Big chance for Morocco as Ounahi fires from outside the box, but Lloris makes his first save.

8': Mbappe tries to find some teammates in the box, but perhaps got the ball off his foot too late. Morocco defend the situation well.

5': We have an early goal! Morocco controlled the game but one mistake cost them dearly, as Theo Hernandez scores with an acrobatic finish!

1': Morocco have the kick-off, here we go!

Both teams are out for the national anthems - the second semi-final begins shortly!

Team News

France XI: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Konaté, Théo Hernandez; Tchouaméni, Fofana; Dembélé, Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud.

Morocco XI: Bono; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Dari, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Ounahi; Ziyech, En Nesyri, Boufal.


World champions France ensured that it’s certainly not coming home with a hard-fought 2-1 win over England in their quarter-final, and now just two games stand in their way of becoming the first side since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their World Cup crown. Never doing things the easy way, France are the only side left in the tournament yet to record a clean sheet, falling behind or conceding an equaliser in four of their five games!

Les Bleus have some incredible attacking talents to thank for their progression to this stage with Kylian Mbappé (G5, A2) and record-breaking scorer Olivier Giroud (G4) making 11 goal contributions between them. French boss Deschamps admitted that his side “got lucky” against England and he may need yet another slice of luck after France lost three of their last six World Cup games against African nations, including a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in this edition!

No matter what happens now, Morocco have made history at this tournament by becoming the first African nation to make it to the semi-finals of a World Cup. Morocco have already knocked out two giants of European football in the knockout phase with a penalties win over Spain preceding a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Portugal in the quarter-final, results which prompted boss Walid Regragui to brand Morocco the “Rocky of this World Cup”.

That film reference seems like a fair assessment considering Morocco have been outsiders in all but one of their five World Cup games, the 2-1 win over Canada. Solid defensive play and great game management have been hallmarks of Morocco’s unlikely success story at this tournament, a statement backed up by the fact that no opposition player has scored past them in nine straight internationals.

Follow the match live