France Advances To World Cup Final
By Jason Hall
December 14, 2022
Defending champion France will face Argentina in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Sunday (December 18).
France defeated Morocco, 2-0, in its semifinals match on Wednesday (December 14) with Theo Hernández scoring in the fifth minute and Randal Kolo Muani -- who entered the game as a substitution -- adding a tap in goal in the 79th minute.
Morocco held a 61% advantage in time of possession and had an even three shots on goal, as well as one less shot attempt, then the French team.
France -- who won the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia -- will face an Argentina team coming off a 3-0 victory on Tuesday (December 13).
Argentina captain Lionel Messi, who currently plays for the French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, provided the match's first and decisive goal in the 34th minute on a penalty kick, which was his fifth of the ongoing tournament and secured his place as his home country's all-time leading scorer with 11 goals in World Cup play.
Julian Alvarez -- who drew the penalty kick after being brought down by Dominik Livakovic -- added two more goals in the 39th and 69th minutes, the latter of which was assisted by Messi.
Messi had previously announced that this year's World Cup would be his last ahead of the tournament.
Argentina has won the FIFA World Cup twice, with its first championship taking place when it served as the tournament's host country in 1978 and again in 1986, having been led by the legendary late Diego Maradona, who later served as Messi's longtime mentor and the Argentinian national team's former coach from 2008-10.
France has won two World Cup titles, having initially won as the host country in 1998 and will appear in its fourth final round match in the last seven consecutive tournaments held since.