Morocco lost 2-0 to France in the World Cup semi-finals. The Lions of the Atlas became the first African team in history to reach the last four of a World Cup and had to deal with the reigning world champion to force a place in the final. The Moroccans certainly had no chance but had to settle for a 2-0 defeat due to two goals that were fortunately achieved. Morocco can prepare with its head held high for the game for third place, which is scheduled against Croatia next Saturday.
Morocco immediately had to deal with a goal at the start of the match. In the fifth minute, it was Antoine Griezmann who escaped the attention of the Moroccan defense and passed the ball to Kylian Mbappé. His shot was blocked twice by Morocco defenders, sending the ball at the feet of Theo Hernández. France’s left-back shot the ball past goalkeeper Yassine Bounou into the goal, despite unsuccessful attempts by Moroccan defenders to clear the ball in front of the line.
The early goal made Morocco want to claim the initiative. Despite the fact that the team had more ball possession than France, it did not create very big chances. For example, Hakim Ziyech slipped on a shooting opportunity and a long shot by Azzedine Ounahi was knocked out of the corner by the French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
The biggest chances were in the first half for France. Olivier Giroud, for example, shot a ball on the post and moments later he had a life-size opportunity to make it 2-0. Morocco could finally breathe a sigh of relief when his shot went wide of about eleven meters.
Just before the halftime signal sounded, Morocco had a great chance to equalize. It was Jawad El Yamiq who, after a deflected corner kick, aimed the ball at goal with a spectacular bicycle kick, but his attempt, partly due to the fingertips of Lloris, exploded on the post.
After the break, Morocco did everything they could to enforce the 1-1. The team took control and got into a good position several times to shoot the ball at goal. Substitute Abderrazak Hamdallah, for example, came into a promising position after a good dribble but was unable to fire a shot. At the same time, the French did not seem to panic with their clever way of playing, despite the fact that they did come under pressure for a while.
The French national coach Didier Deschamps opted in the 79th minute to take Ousmane Dembélé off the field for Randal Kolo Muani. The 24-year-old attacker experienced a dream raid. He shot the ball into the goal with his first ball contact, when the ball landed at his feet after Kylian Mbappé saw his shot blocked, just like with the 1-0. The 2-0 turned out to be the decision in the match. Despite new attempts by Morocco to increase the pressure, the final score was no longer in danger for France.
With the semi-final defeat against France, the World Cup is not yet over for Morocco. The team can prepare for the battle for third place against Croatia. Morocco will take on the Croats next Saturday at 4 p.m.
France can fight against Argentina next Sunday at 4 p.m. to see who can call themselves the winner of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
WORLD CUP FOOTBALL IN QATAR
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is very controversial. First of all, an investigation by the American FBI showed that Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010 through bribery. Moreover, in recent years, during the preparations for the tournament, such as the construction of stadiums and other facilities, human rights have been violated and at least 6,500 migrant workers have died. They came mainly from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and had to work in unsafe working conditions and extreme heat, Amnesty International said in a report . The government in Qatar has almost never conducted a proper investigation into the deaths and FIFA would have looked away, according to the human rights organization.
According to human rights organizations, Qatar is guilty of sportwashing: using a major tournament to put a country in a good light, while concealing misconduct and human rights violations. In addition to the death of the migrant workers, the ban on homosexuality is also something that many believe makes Qatar an unsuitable host country. For example, Human Rights Watch released a report a few weeks before the World Cup that shows that LGBT people have been arbitrarily arrested and abused in the country without charge over the past three years.
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