World Cup Daily: France’s super sub, Morocco’s amazing almost-goal and more

France will play Argentina in the World Cup final Sunday (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) after beating Morocco 2-0 at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor Wednesday. France is the first defending champion to make the World Cup final since Brazil in 1998. The last to repeat was Brazil in 1962.

Morocco’s tournament isn’t over, though. It will play for third-place against Croatia Saturday (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

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France's players celebrate their victory in a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against Morocco at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.

France’s players celebrate their victory in a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against Morocco at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.
(Franck Fife/AFP )

Here’s everything that happened at the World Cup Wednesday.

France 2, Morocco 0

Morocco had plenty of chances to equalize before France went up 2-0 in the 79th minute. At times, it even looked like Morocco was capable of taking the lead. But, for the first time since the knockout stage started, it didn’t take advantage of its opportunities in front of the goal. A Moroccan team that had been so efficient couldn’t score even with 13 shots on goal. It had 15 total shots its previous two games.

WORLD CUP 2022: FRANCE ENDS MOROCCO’S HISTORIC RUN, AIMS FOR REPEAT VS. ARGENTINA

That being said, France did its part. It was the favorite going into the match, and it showed exactly why. The talent on its roster is world-class, and that’s what you need to win at this stage of the tournament. Argentina will have its work cut out for it Sunday.

French midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni (8) and Moroccan forward Abderrazak Hamdallah (9) fight for the ball during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.

French midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni (8) and Moroccan forward Abderrazak Hamdallah (9) fight for the ball during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.
(Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP)

SAVE OF THE DAY

Did Hugo Lloris rob the world of what would have been the goal of the tournament? Yes, but he was just doing his job. He also got a little help from the post. Lloris ended the match with two saves.

Morocco defender Jawad El Yamiq (18) attempts a shot during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against France at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.

Morocco defender Jawad El Yamiq (18) attempts a shot during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against France at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.
(Karim Jaafar/AFP)

ASSIST OF THE DAY

Kylian Mbappé didn’t pull ahead in the Golden Boot race Wednesday. However, he set up France’s second goal so perfectly that he should have been credited with it. 

Before Randal Kolo Muani tapped the ball in for his first international goal, Mbappé dribbled across the box and through Morocco’s defense. Walid Regragui’s side defended well, but there’s only so much you can do when Mbappé has the ball in the box.

Forward Randal Kolo Muani of France (12) scores his team's second goal during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against Morocco at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.

Forward Randal Kolo Muani of France (12) scores his team’s second goal during a Qatar 2022 World Cup semifinal match against Morocco at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha, Dec. 14, 2022.
(Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP)

GOAL OF THE DAY

To some, Theo Hernandez’s goal might have looked like a tap-in, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. To avoid the risk of shooting the ball over the crossbar, Hernandez extended his leg and hit the ball toward the ground and past the keeper. That level of thought and coordination was the difference for France Wednesday.

Theo Hernandez of France scores the opening goal past Yassine Bounou of Morocco during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semifinal match at Al Bayt Stadium Dec. 14, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar.

Theo Hernandez of France scores the opening goal past Yassine Bounou of Morocco during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semifinal match at Al Bayt Stadium Dec. 14, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar.
(Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

MUST-SEE MOMENT

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Walid Regragui sold a dream to Morocco’s supporters, and he came close to making it come true. That might make Morocco’s elimination all the more painful, but Regragui is still a hero in his home country and always will be because of the run Morocco went on.

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