World Cup 2022 LIVE: France vs Morocco score and latest updates from semi-final – Theo Hernandez nets early goal

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Hugo Lloris backs Spurs teammate Harry Kane to bounce back from World Cup penalty heartbreak

France and Morocco go head to head in the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar tonight, with the victors taking on Argentina in Sunday’s final.

Defending champions France are bidding to become the first back-to-back World Cup winners since Brazil in 1958 and 1962, while Morocco are the first African semi-finalists in the history of the tournament.

Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann are among France’s most dangerous players, all having been involved in the 2018 triumph in Russia, but Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano miss the game through illness. Meanwhile, Morocco count Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi among their star performers.

Argentina now await in the final, having seen off 2018 runners-up Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

Follow all the action with our live blog below:


France 1-0 Morocco

8 mins: Morocco have been so solid and so difficult to break down during the course of this tournament that that goal is quite shocking.

The African side had only conceded once in five games but now find themselves behind against the world champions and England showed how difficult it can be to score against them from open play.

France will want a quick second to take control of the match.

Michael Jones14 December 2022 19:09


GOAL! France 1-0 Morocco (T. Hernandez, 5’)⚽️

5 mins: Sloppy from Morocco and France pounce to take the lead!

Jawad El Yamiq pushes out ahead of Antoine Griezmann as Raphael Varane threads a pass through the lines. The French midfielder spins off the defender and brings the ball into the box before squaring it to Kylian Mbappe.

He’s closed down but strikes one with his left foot that deflects over to the left side of the penalty area. Theo Hernandez allows the ball to drop then volleys it past the goalkeeper to send France into the lead!

Michael Jones14 December 2022 19:05


France 0-0 Morocco

3 mins: Morocco have lost the ball a couple of times already when trying to play out from the back. On both occasions their midfielders have come to the rescue with Azzedine Ounahi and Sofyan Amrabat both tracking back to recover possession.

Michael Jones14 December 2022 19:04


France 0-0 Morocco

Lawrence Ostlere at the Al Bayt Stadium:

“The Moroccan national anthem was sung ferociously by the fans around us.

“This stadium is not quite full, disappointingly, but it’s not far off, and red outnumbers blue by perhaps 10 to one. This is a neutral venue in geography only.”

Michael Jones14 December 2022 19:03


Kick off: France 0-0 Morocco

Morocco get the match started and send the ball back to goalkeeper Yassine Bounou. The African side have made a late change to the starting line-up with Achraf Dari coming in to replace Nayef Aguerd in the back line.

Michael Jones14 December 2022 19:02


France vs Morocco

The teams head out onto the pitch at the Al Bayt Stadium with the national anthems getting played next.

Morocco are the first African nation to reach this stage of the competition. Will the also become the first African team to reach the World Cup final?

Or, will France make it into the last two for the second consecutive tournament?

Michael Jones14 December 2022 18:55


Regragui aiming to reach the final

Morocco boss, Walid Regragui, believes his team can beat France and reach the final tonight.

“Why not reach the final of the World Cup? We will show great desire and try to pull off an upset,” he said, “We’ve come to this competition to change mindsets within our continent.

“Before every match people thought we would get knocked out, but we’re still here. We’re getting closer to our dreams and we’ll fight to get there.

“If we say the semi-final is enough, I don’t agree. We aren’t satisfied with the semi-final and being the first African team to do that. We want to go further.

“You might think that’s crazy, but a bit of craziness is good. We’re hungry. I don’t know if it will be enough, but we want Africa to be on top of the world. I know we’re not favourites but we’re confident.”

Michael Jones14 December 2022 18:53


Why isn’t Didier Deschamps seen as a coaching genius?

Didier Deschamps was discussing the secret of his success. “There is no secret,” he said, providing the kind of answer to explain why someone who, in a few days’ time, could rank as the joint most successful manager in the history of the World Cup is rarely seen as any kind of coaching genius.

An understated figure has assessed a formidable CV while remaining relatively unheralded. Only two men have managed World Cup-winning sides, captained World Cup-winning teams, European Championship-winning and Champions League-winning teams: Franz Beckenbauer and Deschamps.

The Frenchman was one of the first to win the European Cup with two clubs as a player; as a coach, he has taken Monaco to the final, an achievement that has stood the test of time, and France to the Euro 2016 final. He has won the Nations League, which may or may not acquire more meaning in time. Now he could join Vittorio Pozzo, Italy’s coach in 1934 and 1938, as the only two-time World Cup-winning manager.

Is Deschamps an all-time great or a man who was in the right place at the right time? Both, perhaps. One of his closest allies, his captain for a decade, Hugo Lloris offered some insight.

“He has of course tremendous experience as a player and a coach at international level,” the goalkeeper said. “He is calm and collected and transmits that to the players. He is an inspiration to the players. We have a great relationship between players and coach and it is not a coincidence he has been a coach for such a long time.”

Michael Jones14 December 2022 18:47


Can Deschamps win the World Cup again?

France boss, Didier Deschamps, has won 13 of his 17 World Cup as a head coach and is just three short of the record set by Helmut Schon with West Germany.

He has already won the World Cup as both a player and a manager but is on course to add a third world triumph to his CV.


Michael Jones14 December 2022 18:44


France won’t ‘fall into a trap’ against Morocco, Raphael Varane insists

The defending champions are just two victories away from becoming the first side to retain the trophy since Brazil in 1962 after reaching the semi-finals with a hard-fought win over England on Saturday.

Standing between them and a final against Argentina or Croatia are Qatar 2022 surprise package Morocco on Wednesday.

Les Bleus are strong favourites to get through but Varane is not taking anything for granted against a Morocco side who have conceded just one goal on their unexpected run to the last four.

Michael Jones14 December 2022 18:41

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