In the heartbreaking final moments, the Frenchmen would wrap their arms around the Moroccan players as they lay on the ground covered in sweat and tears.
On Wednesday, Morocco’s brave and determined fairy tale march came to an end at midnight thanks to an effective France. When the World Cup champions put on a straightforward display of methodical football, one of the World Cup’s most romantic stories came to an end. The French team had to rely heavily on their experience to win because the North African team matched the French team for much of the game.
The Frenchmen would give the Moroccan players a hug of encouragement as they lay on the ground, covered in tears and sweat, in the tragic final minutes. He would give him a hug because Olivier Giroud has coached Morocco under Walid Regragui in the French league. Achraf Hakimi would be reassured by Kylian Mbappe.
However, Mbappe’s strikes caused both goals to be scored on deflections from Moroccan bodies, making it cruel. Sadly, those deflections ended up in the path of unmanned Frenchmen, though they could have gone anywhere. However, it was paradoxical and sadistic that an unusual defensive error resulted in the first goal.
From close to the half-line, Rafael Varane made a pass to Antoine Greizmann, yet he missing the mark on ability to get to him. Jamad El Yamiq seemed to take care of it, yet he slipped while clearing the ball, permitting Griezmann to score. The playmaker took a step and floated over to Mbappe, whose initial shot was stopped by Sofyan Amrabat, but Mbappe kept the rebound and shot it toward the goal. Notwithstanding, one more Moroccan shirt blocked the way. Theo Hernandez, on the other hand, was in the way the ball went. The left back calmly rode the ball as it awkwardly landed in his path, wrapped his left foot around it, and swept-spotted it into the nets, past Bounou, who was on his wrong foot. This was the first time an opponent player had overcome the tenacity and defense of the Moroccans in this tournament.
The stadium was silent for a moment. In shock, the jubilant Moroccan supporters stopped moving. However, they heard the group regaining their composure and not freezing like the Croatians had recently done. When Azz-Edine Ounahi hit a vicious away-swinger that Hugo Lloris had to stretch full-force to stop, they advanced with measured aggression and almost scored. It was feared that the game would become more lively and chaotic when Morocco used a three-man defense. Olivier Giroud could have doubled the lead with a left-footed shot from the outside of his feet that bent slightly too much and hit the crossbar.
Soon after, Morocco made a semi-forced, semi-tactical change by switching to a more dynamic 4-3-3 formation and substituting Selim Amallah for the limping captain and center back Romain Saiss. With their ferocity and quick passing, they were able to stretch the French defense, but they were vulnerable to counterattacks. And that’s exactly what happened when France let them down on a few occasions, not the least of which was when Giroud received a pass from Kylian Mbappe that was well-weighted. Despite not having many shots on goal, the latter’s presence was significant. He always made space for Hernandez, who was overlapping, by getting a few defenders, if not more. They lost their guarded shape as they attempted to contain him as his speed shook and overreacted. In the first two minutes of the second half, he slashed past his PSG and Amrabat teammate, Achraf Hakimi, like an airplane would a helicopter. They were not chasing his shadows but rather the shadow of his shadow because Mbappe’s cutback from the byline was over-hit. For the second goal, he broke through two defenders on the edge of the box, but his shot again deflected off Moroccan Abdessamad Ezzalzouli. And as it fell in a pleasing manner, Kolo Muani blasted it home without a second’s hesitation.
In contrast, Morocco surged forward after a brief lull toward the end of the first half, breaking through the French defense and winning a few free kicks in potentially dangerous areas. Youssef En-Nesyri scored with a spectacular scissor kick that he launched, but Lloris missed the equalizer. The defense was forced to make last-minute stops, but they were able to hold on calmly. Even when surrounded by Moroccan jerseys, Varane would maintain his composure and execute the crucial tackle or touch that denied Morocco. Griezmann was enjoying the love and freedom that come with wearing the blue shirt of France by screening them at all times, sweeping in front of and behind them. Also, Ibrahima Konate worked a busy, straightforward shift.
Morocco, on the other hand, persevered, demonstrating their faith. The semifinalists who had never won before never gave up; They carried on with their courageous and hopeful game, surrounded by supporters who sang, prayed, and cheered. Their agony, anxiety, and doubts were concealed as they grew behind them. However, in the 79th minute, Kolo Muani doubled Morocco’s lead, ending everything. Despite this, Morocco’s skills, enthusiastic fans, and celebrations with their parents have contributed to the World Cup. In spite of the fact that their night finished in distress and tears, they will be recalled, and maybe their best is on the way. A team that was ingrained with the ability to seize opportunities, win championships, and twist the knife defeated them. Despite their defeat, they shone brightly in Al Bayt’s pitch-black skies.