Theo Hernandez gave France a first-half lead against Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium.
Walid Regragui’s team had only conceded once in the competition before Wednesday’s meeting, but Antoine Griezmann caused uncommon pandemonium in their backline.
Hernandez scored after Kylian Mbappe’s second shot off Olivier Giroud.
Giroud almost doubled France’s lead when he hit the post before Morocco lost captain Romain Saiss to a thigh injury.
Live France-Morocco score
1H 2H Final \sFrance 1 — — \sMorocco 0 — —
Theo Hernandez (FRA) 5.
4. Kounde, 4. Varane, 24. Konate, 22. T. Hernandez — 8. Tchouameni, 13. Fofana — 11. Dembele, 7. Griezmann, 10. Mbappe — 9. Giroud.
1. Bono (GK) — 2. Hakimi, 18. El Yamiq, 20. Dari, 6. Saiss, 3. Mazraoui — 7. Ziyech, 8. Ounahi, 4. Amrabat, 17. Boufal —19. En-Nesyri
France vs. Morocco halftime updates, highlights: After Theo Hernandez gave France an early lead and after Olivier Giroud struck the post, you feared Morocco would collapse. Jawad El Yamiq’s overhead kick gave the Atlas Lions the halftime lead. Not yet. Next step is huge.
45th minute+3: Lloris knocks another Hakim Ziyech delivery out of his box.
Morocco scored at 44. Jawad El Yamiq scored after France failed to clear Hakim Ziyech’s corner. Hugo Lloris’ fingertips and upright saved France’s lead.
Morocco quickens the pace, and Azzedine Ounahi passes to Achraf Hakimi. Ibrahima Konate’s challenge earns him the corner.
Jawad El Yamiq concedes a corner to Antoine Griezmann’s sparkling foot in the 39th minute. Raphael Varane’s near-post run was missed, but his shot isn’t dangerous.
Woooahhh, almost 2-0. France are in transition after Hakim Ziyech loses possession. Kylian Mbappe’s goal-bound shot is blocked. Giroud should have scored his fifth goal but misses wide.
Youssouf Fofana misses a turn-around shot.
Giroud is shot at again in the 34th minute. Mbappe entered from the left. Achraf Dari put Theo Hernandez in the conflicts.
Morocco played well in the 32nd minute. Sofyan Amrabat opens the attack, and Selim Amallah nearly finds Youssef En-Nesyri. Atlas Lions have responded well to falling behind.
27th minute: Theo Hernandez appears hurt. The striker got a foot in to stop a Morocco attack, but he injured his knee and collided with Sofiane Boufal, who was booked.
Romain Saiss hobbles off after 21 minutes. Morocco’s gamble on Nayef Aguard failed. Regragui should switch to a 4-3-3 with Selim Amallah on the pitch.
Olivier Giroud misses the 18th-minute goal. France’s record goalscorer turns away from Romain Saiss and hits the left upright left-footed.
17th minute: Morocco improves. Sofiane Boufal passes to Hakim Ziyech. The Chelsea winger lost his footing and shot wide.
Hakim Ziyech sends a deep free kick into the France area, but it’s cleared and the world champions regain possession.
Morocco needs to calm down. Sofyan Amrabat lost the ball in his own half. France is pressing judiciously and establishing traps, as they did against England. 1-0 is awful for the Atlas Lions, but 2-0 feels unrecoverable.
Azzedine Ounahi’s 25-yard right-footed shot from Morocco is almost fantastic. Hugo Lloris makes a left-handed save.
5th minute: GO! Hernandez!
Kylian Mbappe’s shot from Antoine Griezmann’s cutback was blocked by Morocco. Mbappe’s second shot missed Olivier Giroud, but Hernandez scored with an acrobatic finish.
Defenders score first
Sofyan Amrabat intercepts Aurelien Tchouameni’s dribble in the 4th minute.
First minute: Game on! Achraf Dari replaces Nayef Aguard, who wasn’t as fit as he expected.
The teams are out and the anthems are playing 5 minutes before kickoff. Morocco is huge! Walid Regragui is active off the field. Al Bayt Stadium is electric.
20 minutes till kickoff: Like Gareth Southgate, whose England he beat in the previous round, Deschamps faces a coach he admires. France’s 2018 performance made me imagine “Walid Regragui before. “Deschamps knew how to accomplish it – stop with stats.”
Regragui has made me self-conscious because many of the Twitter embeds we utilise show statistics. Sofiane Boufal dances with his mother for balance.
Al Bayt Stadium is filling up, and red-clad Morocco fans are making a commotion.
It will be interesting to see how they all hold up after 120 minutes, but it’s a huge lift for Walid Regragui. Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguard, and Noussair Mazraoui start, and Jawad El Yamiq is retained, giving the Atlas Lions a back five against France’s attack. If the extra center-back allows Mazraoui and Ziyech to get forward, great.
1h 15 minutes before kickoff, here’s France. Ibrahima Konate and Youssouf Fofana replaced Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot.
Morocco’s starting lineup 1hr 30 minutes from kickoff.
Antoine Griezmann’s availability seems assured 2 hours before kickoff. Atletico Madrid’s midfielder has excelled in Qatar.
A illness bug has hampered France’s preparations, and L’Equipe reports that Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot won’t play tonight. Ibrahima Konate and Youssouf Fofana will replace them. Within an hour, we’ll have team news.
France broke a recent pattern of reigning champions not defending their title. Italy, Spain, and Germany, 2006, 2010, and 2014 winners, all lost in the group stage.
Morocco has played France six times before. They’ve lost their last five World Cup semifinals, while France has won three. I guess records can be broken…
Ziyech’s struggle with Mbappe will affect his attacking productivity. Walid Regragui’s team can’t afford a slump, as the figures show.
3 hours 40 minutes until kickoff: Morocco’s success in Qatar will depend on a good defence, as it has throughout the tournament. Only Canada has scored against them so far.
France hopes to reach a second World Cup final in 4 hours.
4.30 hours until kickoff: Morocco in Qatar: another special night?
Another Griezmann masterclass?
Regragui is convinced Achraf Hakimi will beat Kylian Mbappe. Regragui is confident in his No. 2 ahead of the match between the two PSG teammates.
“We can’t just block Kylian. Hakimi is determined to win.”
Can Morocco shock Qatar 2022?
Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi are PSG teammates and close friends. In January, they discussed a matchup.
Despite the nasty talk, the two are close and have swapped images from Qatar. Wednesday, put that aside.
kylian mbappé achraf hakimi edit taylor swift fancam.
Lineups, news: France vs. Morocco
A cold bug infected the French squad, and starters Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano skipped the latest training session. Qatar reports both will begin.
Ibrahima Konate (for Upamecano) and Youssouf Fofana (for Rabiot) are natural successors.
5. Kounde, 4. Varane, 18. Upamecano, 22. T. Hernandez — 8. Tchouameni, 14. Rabiot — 11. Dembele, 7. Griezmann, 10. Mbappe — 9. Giroud
Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui returns to the starting lineup at left back after recovering from illness.
Nayef Aguerd is still recovering from a thigh injury, thus Real Valladolid’s Jaward El-Yamiq will sub. Romain Saiss will likely play despite a knock.
Bono (GK) — Hakimi, 18-El Yamiq, 6. Saiss, 25. Attiyah Allah — 8. Ounahi, 4. Amrabat, 15. Amallah — 7. Ziyech, 19. En-Nesyri, 17. Boufal
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