World champion France is entering the field today. The opponent is the African team that came to make a fairy tale, Morocco. In the second semi-final, both teams will come upon at Al Bayt Stadium.
France and Morocco are going to meet for the first time in the World Cup. Although history goes by, the two teams played some matches earlier in the last century. The two teams have officially played against each other five times so far. The two teams first met in 1988, with the French winning 2-1 & the two teams last met in 2007. That match was a 2-2 draw. Although France is ahead overall in terms of statistics, the result of the last meeting could serve as a big motivation for Morocco in today’s semi-final.
France was one of the 13 teams that played in the inaugural World Cup in 1930. With this, the team has played 16 times on the world stage. They won the crown of excellence in 1998 and 2018. France is playing in the semi-final as the first defending champion team since Brazil in 2006.
2006 World Cup champions Italy were eliminated in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup. Spain, the champion of the tournament, was eliminated from the group stage in 2014. Germany, who won the title in 2014, also lost in the group stage last season. Many have called the defending champions’ “elimination in the group stage the Champions Curse”. 2018 World Cup winner France has overcome that Champions Curse. The team is playing the semi-final at the top of the group stage barrier.
They are going to play in the semi-finals as the first defending champion team since Brazil in 1998. Also, if they win today, the French will become the first team since Brazil in 2002 to play in two consecutive finals.
France started their World Cup journey by defeating Australia 4-1 in the first match of the group stage. Then beat Denmark 2-1 to confirm the last sixteen. However, Le Blues lost 1-0 to Tunisia in the last match of the group stage. Although the coach did not play the original eleven in that match. And in the match of the round of sixteen, France beat Poland 3-1 and reached the quarter-finals. Le Blues confirmed the semi-final by defeating England 2-1 in the second quarter.
Kylian Mbappe, the 23-year-old striker of France’s biggest star team, is in great form. Kylian Mbappe has scored 5 goals in 5 matches so far. He scored 4 goals in the 2018 World Cup. Mbappe played 12 matches in the World Cup and scored a total of 9 goals.
On the contrary, the North West African country of Morocco made its World Cup debut in 1970. The team has qualified for the World Cup 6 times so far. In the 1986 World Cup, the country became the first country in Africa to make it past the group stage in the World Cup and made the whole of Africa proud. This time they have surpassed all previous achievements. The team has made it to the semi-finals as the first Arab and African teams. Morocco will become the first Arab, African and Muslim country to reach the final if they beat France today. The country has another chance to make Africa proud again.
The main hero behind Morocco’s success in the World Cup is the coach of the team, Walid Regraghi. He took charge of Morocco last September. Under him, Morocco has played 8 matches so far without losing a single one. On the contrary, they got the title of ‘Giant Killer’ by defeating big teams one after another.
The African country has played incredibly in this World Cup. Before the start of the World Cup, no one imagined that Morocco would play in the semi-finals. Morocco started their World Cup journey with a goalless draw against Croatia. Then the country surprised everyone by beating Belgium 2-0. But that was just the beginning of the surprise. The team advanced to the round of sixteen from Group F after defeating Canada 2-1. They beat Spain in a penalty shootout in the pre-quarterfinals to confirm the quarter. They lost to Ronaldo-Fernandez’s Portugal in the quarterfinals.
In five matches of the World Cup so far, the opponent has not scored a single goal against them. Morocco won 2–1 against Canada in the group stage; The goal scored for Canada in that match was also an own goal.
Morocco’s biggest hope is Ashraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, and the team’s goalkeeper Yassin Bono.
The players of the team are ready to make full use of the experience of playing in different European leagues today.
Morocco is not getting striker Walid Chedria in this important match. He will not be able to play today as he received a red card against Portugal. Apart from that, the captain of the team, Romain Saiss, Hakim Ziyech, and Nayef Aguerd are injured. If these three players are not fully fit, the team will be in trouble.
However, there is no injury or suspension problem in the France team. Lucas Hernandez suffered an ACL injury against Australia and was completely ruled out of the World Cup. His brother Theo Hernandez, who replaced him, played well in the rest of the matches.
Despite having a lack of star players; In addition to being behind in these two places, Morocco will also be behind in-field experience. France is playing in the semifinals for the seventh time in the World Cup. In contrast, this is Morocco’s first World Cup semi-final. As a result, if they win today, Atlas Lions will be able to write an impeccable history. But above all, the whole world is waiting for an enjoyable fight.