Hernandez and Kolo Muani Fire France Into 2022 FIFA World Cup Final – Sport Grill

Hernandez and Kolo Muani Fire France Into 2022 FIFA World Cup Final – Sport Grill

(Image credit: @equipedefrance)

Goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani saw France beat Morocco 2-0 to secure the last spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final. 

Hernandez volleyed France ahead after just five minutes as he pouned on a loose clearance of Kylian Mbappe’s blocked second shot.

Didier Deschamp’s Les Bleus though found themselves in a feisty contest but substitute, Randal Kolo Muani smashed in a 79th minute strike which sent the reigning champions through to their fourth FIFA World Cup Final.

France now will meet Argentina at Lusail Iconic Stadium, Doha, in the 2022 World Cup Final at 6pm AST (3pm UK Time) on Sunday 18 December.

Morocco meanwhile will meet Croatia in the Third-Place Play-Off 24 hours earlier on Saturday 17 December at Khalifa International Stadium.

(Image credit: @ChampionsLeague)

Having conceded just one goal en route to the semi-finals, Morocco’s game plan was hit even before kick-off after Nayef Aguerd was substituted after re-aggravating his thigh injury during warm-up and replaced by Achraf Dari.

That change however didn’t have the intended impact because after four minutes, Antoine Griezmann broke up the right and pulled back a pass to Kylian Mbappe, who could saw two shots blocked but the second attempt looped up and across for Hernandez to volley in on his left foot.

Azzedine Ounahi though was able to offer hope for the Moroccans as he unleashed a tenth-minute shot towards the bottom-right corner, from just outside of the box but Hugo Lloris made a comfortable block.

Hakim Ziyech added further hope of an equaliser as he met Sofiane Boufal’s pass seven minutes later, yet was only able to fire his shot wide before he saw a curled cross towards top-left corner in the 19th minute denied by Lloris.

Romain Saiss – who was a doubt with a thigh injury – managed to start but like Aguerd, he too re-aggravated his injury and had to be substituted after 21 minutes as he was replaced by Selim Amallah.

France meanwhile had dictated the game’s tempo since their early goal but wasted a huge chance to double their lead in the 33rd minute, as Mbappe pulled back for Aurelien Tchouameni to shoot but the midfielder’s shot was blocked by his teammate – Olivier Giroud.

Youssouf Fofana, Giroud and Raphael Varane all saw shots go wide as the reigning champions wasted further opportunities to open a two-goal lead, as Morocco clung on to keep their deficit down to a single goal at half-time.

Jawad El Yamiq though wasted a huge chance to restore parity for Morocco as he bicycle-kicked a 44th minute corner onto the left-post, from which Boufal fired his rebound shot wide on the turn.

Lloris meanwhile proved heroic for France as he blocked a corner and free-kick made by Hakim Ziyech in first-half injury-time.

Morocco though were forced into a third substitution before the second half even began due to injury, as Noussair Mazraoui was replaced by Yahia Attiyat-Allah.

That change briefly put Morocco on the back-foot early on the restart as Mbappe whipped in a 47th minute cross for France, although Jules Kounde’s shot was blocked after he had met his teammate’s cross.

France soon had their own injury concern as Sofyan Amrabat recklessly tackled Mbappe to ground during a counter-attack four minutes later, which left the Frenchman struggling with pain in his left ankle but he was able to continue after treatment.

Amrabat meanwhile almost equalised a further three minutes later after he pounced on the rebound from A blocked pass.

Morocco thereafter enjoyed a dominant spell during which Ounahi played a nice free-flowing move up the right with Ziyech, yet his pass to Achraf Hakimi was blocked.

Griezmann and Varane in the 63rd minute made crucial blocks as the former cleared Boufal’s pullback whilst Varane cleared Ziyech’s cross.

Both teams thereafter exchanged chances at opposite ends but Morocco’s ineffective finishing proved costly, as Mbappe broke forward and cut in from the left, with a calm side-step to roll a pass across for substitute – Kolo Muani to fire in his maiden senior goal for France unmarked to double their lead.

France eventually cruised to a comfortable win and will now meet Argentina in a blockbuster Final on Sunday, where Deschamps’ Les Bleus will look to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to defend their title.

This victory also means that France are the first team since Brazil in 1994 & 98 to qualify for two consecutive World Cup Finals.

Morocco meanwhile will take on Croatia in the Third-Place Play-Off on Saturday in their second clash of this tournament, having contested a goalless draw in their Group F opener.



France: Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konate, Theo Hernandez, Aurelien Tchouameni, Youssouf Fofana, Ousmane Dembele (Kolo Muani 79′), Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud (Thuram 65′)

Substitutes: Benjamin Pavard, Axel Disasi, Matteo Guendouzi, Randal Kolo Muani, Jordan Veretout, Steve Mandanda, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Kingsley Coman, Alphonse Areola, Eduardo Camavinga, Marcus Thuram

Morocco: Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Jawad El Yamiq, Achraf Dari, Romain Saiss (Amallah 21′, Ezzalzouli 78′), Noussair Mazraoui (Attiyat-Allah 45′), Hakim Ziyech, Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Sofiane Boufal (Aboukhlal 67′), Youssef En-Nesyri (Hamdallah 66′)

Substitutes: Abderrazak Hamdallah, Anass Zaroury, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Munir Mohamedi, Ilias Chair, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Selim Amallah, Abde Ezzalzouli, Achraf Dari, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, Bilal El Khannous, Badr Benoun, Yahia Attiyat-Allah, Yahya Jabrane

Referee: Cesar Arturo Ramos (Mexico)

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