France defeated Morocco 2-0 on Wednesday at Lusail Stadium to advance to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Final against Argentina (14 December).
Theo Hernandez opened the scoring for the defending champions after just five minutes, and replacement Randal Kolo Muani put the game away just over ten minutes later.
Morocco displayed their characteristic tenacity and skill, but they were unable to recapture the magic that had propelled them to become Africa’s first World Cup semifinalist team.
The dream of becoming the first African team to reach the final of the Football World Cup was dashed after a 2-0 defeat by France in the semi-finals, but the Moroccan team has won the hearts of fans around the world.
When France plays Argentina at Lusail Stadium this weekend, they will be playing in their fourth World Cup final in seven tournaments. France is seeking to become the first team since Brazil in 1958 to win back-to-back championships.
Ahead of the crucial semi-final against France, Moroccan supporters have gathered in various parts of Europe, including in the hope that the former colonial power that once ruled the country will be overthrown on the football field.
However, that hope was dashed by goals from Theo Hernandez and Kylian as defending champions France reached the final, where they will face Argentina on Sunday.
“We lost but we are very proud,” a fan in the Moroccan capital Rabat told the BBC.
On the other hand, a heavy police force was deployed before the match in the central part of Paris, the capital of France, where thousands of citizens of Moroccan origin live.
Before the match, fans could also be seen waving the flags of Morocco and other North African countries on the main thoroughfare of Paris.
Police were seen not only in France, but in other major European cities, including Brussels, where Moroccan supporters celebrated recent victories by bursting firecrackers.
Due to the weather in The Hague and the defeat, there was not much enthusiasm after the match.
A few firecrackers were set off in the streets, but Moroccan-Dutch citizens said they wanted to remain peaceful.
Meanwhile, a fan at Mohammed V Stadium in Rabat said that the semi-final result was ‘OK’. “This is what happens in sports,” he said.
The majority of the match watchers in this stadium believed that the Moroccan team’s performance in the World Cup will be the beginning of a bright future for the country’s footballers.
However, frustration was palpable in Rabat’s oldest cafe as the Moroccan team failed to score back-to-back.
One fan, Hou, born in Morocco but raised in France, said he wanted Morocco to win the World Cup because “it’s time for the cup to come to Africa.”
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