France Ended Morocco’s Magical Run To Earn A Spot In The World Cup Final

France will play in its second consecutive World Cup final. The defending champions took on the surprise of the tournament, Morocco, in a semifinal matchup on Wednesday, and despite the best efforts of the first African side to ever make it this far in the World Cup, the French proved to be too much, picking up a 2-0 win.

Morocco found itself in full control during the early moments of the game, with the French willing to sit back and let them have the ball. The crowd, which overwhelmingly supported the underdogs, was raucous from the jump, and did whatever it could to make the game feel like it was being played on Moroccan soil.

But with their first sustained spell of possession on the evening, Les Bleus struck. Antoine Griezmann slipped past an aggressive challenge and played a ball into the feet of Kylian Mbappe. Morocco’s defense was able to prevent France’s star forward from putting a shot on goal, but the ball landed right in front of Theo Hernández, who scored the first open play goal Morocco allowed to an opponent all tournament.

For the remainder of the first half, France would occasionally threaten but were mostly happy with keeping Morocco from finding a game-tying goal. This meant the Moroccans had more of the ball — sometimes for lengthy spells — and put the French on their collective back foot.

Still, France’s defense was stout, as Morocco was only able to register a pair of first-half goals on target. The best of the bunch was this completely ridiculous effort that Jawad El Yamiq, a center back, put on frame via bicycle kick and called Hugo Lloris into action.

Morocco searched for the tying goal throughout the second half, and for long stretches, they looked to be the better side. But no matter what they tried, they were unable to figure out exactly what they had to do to unlock the French defense. Morocco continued to ramp up the pressure and made France look completely out of sorts, but the sport is cruel, and in the 79th minute, a deflected Mbappe effort fell to the feet of Randal Kolo Muani, who stood at the back post and tapped the ball into the net just seconds as he entered as a substitute.

With the win, France earned a matchup with Argentina, pitting PSG teammates Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi against one another with the sport’s ultimate prize on the line. The game is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. EST on Fox.