Home » 2022 WC Semi finals: Match Preview; Another Giant Slaying from Lions?

2022 WC Semi finals: Match Preview; Another Giant Slaying from Lions?

by Lesley Ngwa
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The Atlas Lions of Morocco will take on title holders France, for a place in the final on Wednesday, December 14 at the 68,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium.

Morocco being the first ever African team to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup when Africa’s best result has always been at the quarterfinals, are hoping to dare the Blues and pull up another suprise “Giant Killing”.

The first time semi-finalist have created a lot of suprises so far by writing Africa’s name in history books, beating second placed nation on the FIFA rankings Belgium, Canada and held vice champion Croatia to a draw at the group stage of the Competition.

This caused Morocco become the second African nation to top a group at the FIFA World Cup and they did so with 7 points ahead of Croatia, after Cameroon did in 1990, beating Argentina and Romania 1-0 then lost Soviet Union to qualify with 4points as top of Group B.

The round of 16 saw the Atlas Lions celebrate a historic World Cup victory over Spain on post match Penalties, then earned a hard fought 1-0 win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to reach the semi final.

Having been to six World Cup editions, Morocco had never made it pass the knockout phase until now as they were the first African nation to reach the round of 16 since 1986.

Morocco is considered to have arguably the best defense in this tournament, having conceded just one goal, which was an own goal from Nayef Aguerd in a 2-1 win against Canada.

France on the other hand, are two times world champions after grabbing their first title on home soil in 1998, beating Brazil 3-0 and in 2018 after a 4-2 win over Croatia.

The title holders booked their place in the semifinals after denying England a chance on a 2-1 scoreline in the round of 8 but lost a group stage game to one of Africa’s representative, Tunisia.

France have proven to be on good footing to defend their title, with Kylian Mbappé scoring five goals so far in the competition, one ahead of his teammate, Olivier Giroud who Counts four goals as they are in race for the golden boot.

The boys of coach Didier Deschamps will be hoping for a second consecutive title in their 16th world cup participation and seventh appearance in a row.

France have made it to three World Cup finals, winning two and loosing to Italy in 2006.

The three time World Cup finalist have met with Morocco on 11 occasions, beating the North Africans seven times and recording three draws, with Morocco winning just one.

Though they have never met each other in a major tournament, their last outing was an International friendly in 2007 that ended in a 2-2 draw.

For sure, the defending champions are tipped favourite to reach a second consecutive World Cup final but will meet a Moroccan side that will be on guard to probably carry out another giant slaying as they’ve done until this stage of the Competition.

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