France reached the FIFA World Cup 2022 final for the fourth time in the last seven editions of the tournament with a 2-0 win over Morocco in the semifinal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar.
France beat Morocco 2-0 in the semifinal to qualify for the final of FIFA World Cup final Qatar 2022, at the Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday.
It became the first team to play consecutive finals since Brazil in 2002 and will play Argentina at the Khalifa Stadium on December 18, 2022. In fact, it became the first European country to make it to successive finals in over three decades, after Germany in 1990.
France reached the World Cup final for the fourth time in the last seven editions of the tournament (1998, 2006, 2018 and 2022), at least twice more than any other nation over the period.
HOW DID FRANCE START THE FIFA WORLD CUP?
Les Blues, coming into the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the defending champion, was subject to impediments even before starting its campaign in Qatar.
Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, two of its most important midfielders, and Presnel Kimpembe, one of its defenders, were all ruled out of the tournament with injuries.
To make matters worse, Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema was ruled out of the tournament, following a thigh injury during training on the eve of the World Cup.
However, Didier Deschamps side, with a resilient squad, started the tournament with a 4-1 win over Australia.
FRANCE 4-1 AUSTRALIA
The Socceroos took a shock early lead against the reigning world champion through Craig Goodwin’s goal in the ninth minute. However, Didier Deschamps’ side, despite missing a number of star including this year’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema due to injuries, equalised in the 27th minute via Adrian Rabiot.
Olivier Giroud put the Les Blues ahead five minutes later with a simple tap-in. Kylian Mbappe extended his side’s lead with a header in the 68th minute before providing a cross for Giroud’s second goal of the match three minutes later to make it 4-1 for France.
With his brace, 36-year-old Giroud also became the joint-highest goal-scorer for France alongside Arsenal legend Thierry Henry with 51 goals.
DENMARK 1-2 FRANCE
France became the first defending World Cup winner to qualify for the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006, in the FIFA World Cup 2022, after it beat Denmark at the Stadium 974 in Qatar, on Saturday.
Two second-half goals from Kylian Mbappe, despite a goal from Denmark’s Andreas Christensen, confirmed its route for the pre-quarterfinals of Qatar 2022.
The first goal came just after the hour-mark, when a pass from Theo Hernandez was carried into the box by Mbappe, who finished with ease past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. But the defining moment of the match came in the 86th minute when Antoine Griezmann’s cross was slotted in by the 23-year-old for his second of the night.
The win breaks the ‘champion’s curse’ for the Les Blues, who suffered the wrath of the curse 20 years ago, when it was eliminated in the group stage, after winning the World Cup in 1998.
TUNISIA 1-0 FRANCE
A goal of individual brilliance by Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri, an equaliser by Antoinne Griezmann in the last seconds of the second-half injury time and Tunisia’s exit despite a win — this match had everything.
Deschamps, having secured qualification into the round of 16, decided to start with nine changes in the starting eleven and the new team almost limited Tunisia to a draw. However, close to the hour mark, veteran Khazri decided to have one final dance, making a run into the final third and finishing the ball in the back of the net.
Khazri retired after the match and France got over the game as just another match, keeping its eyes fixed on the pre-quarterfinals.
ROUND OF 16: FRANCE 3-1 POLAND
A beaming Olivier Giroud header, followed by two wonderful goals from Kylian Mbappe saw Les Blues breeze past Poland in the round of 16, with a 3-1 victory at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar.
After a game of chess where the pieces on the board moved back and forth, it was a simple move that undid the Poles.
The world stood still, all eyes glued to the sphere that had found a will of its own and all the desperate pleas of the English could not bring it down from the celestial orbit it was following.
Harry Kane had the chance to right the wrongs that England perceived, but the scorer of 53 international goals might now forever be haunted by the one miss that sent England home after a 2-1 defeat to France.
“As the captain, I’ll take that on the chin and that responsibility, missing the penalty, so it’s hard,” Kane said afterwards.
“Really tough night to take. I’m gutted, the team are gutted. We had the belief that we could achieve something special at this World Cup, but it came down to small detail.”
France, on the other hand, progressed every knockout stage in regulation time, with Kylian Mbappe leading the scoring charts.
SEMIFINAL: FRANCE 2-0 MOROCCO
France set up a heavyweight World Cup final against Argentina after an early goal by Theo Hernandez and a late one from Randal Kolo Muani ended battling Morocco’s dream run via an action-packed 2-0 semi-final victory on Wednesday.
Full back Hernandez stretched high after five minutes to hook in the first goal Morocco have conceded to an opposition player in the tournament after a scramble in the box, but the holders offered only occasional glimpses of their class.
France settled the outcome with a second goal 11 minutes from time as substitute Randal Kolo Muani, with a first touch after coming on, tucked in a shot at the back post.
With the win, Didier Deschamps became the fourth manager to lead a nation to back-to-back World Cup finals, after Vittorio Pozzo with Italy (1934, 1938), Carlos Bilardo with Argentina (1986, 1990), and Franz Beckenbauer with Germany (1986, 1990).