Defending champion France reached the semifinals together with Argentina, Croatia and the African juggernaut Morocco, which grew to become the primary African and Arab nation within the historical past of the FIFA World Cup to e-book a spot within the final 4.
Whereas Argentina will play Croatia within the first semifinal, France will face the Atlas Lions, the enormous killers in Qatar World Cup, on Wednesday night time.
A former French colony Morocco is the one undefeated facet to succeed in the semifinal on this World Cup.
Morocco defeated Belgium and Canada within the group stage, and 2010 champion Spain within the spherical of 16. Within the quarterfinal, it beat Euro 2016 winner Portugal to safe a spot within the semifinals. Walid Regragui’s defensively sturdy facet has conceded only one aim en path to the semifinals towards Canada.
France, which received its second World Cup title in Russia 4 years in the past, began its title defence with wins over Australia and Denmark however misplaced to African facet Tunisia 1-0. Within the pre-quarterfinal, the Les Blues registered a convincing 3-1 win over Poland and adopted that with an impressive 2-1 win over England within the quarterfinal.
Because the stage is ready for yet one more mouthwatering conflict, right here is how France and Morocco have fared of their earlier conferences.
France and Morocco have met 5 occasions to this point in worldwide friendlies. However they’ve by no means met within the World Cup. This might be their first assembly on the showpiece occasion.
Their first assembly got here in 1988 when France beat Morocco 2-1. Nevertheless, in unrecognised matches, the 2 sides performed a number of occasions within the Nineteen Sixties.
In a pleasant in 1998, Morocco prevailed over France in a penalty shootout. The Atlas Lions took a 2-0 lead from a brace by Salaheddine Bassir earlier than Laurent Blanc and Youri Djorkaeff levelled the rating. Within the shootout, Morocco received, its solely win over France.
HEAD TO HEAD
The 2 sides met once more in 1999 and 2000, with France beating Morocco 1-0 and 5-1, respectively. Thierry Henry, Djorkaeff, Christophe Dugarry, Nicolas Anelka, and Sylvain Wiltord scored for France.
The latest assembly between France and Morocco got here in a pleasant in 2007 once they settled for a 2-2 draw at Stade de France, Paris.
Within the eighth minute, Tarik Sektioui put Morocco forward. Sidney Govou equalised inside seven minutes. Within the second half, Samir Nasri gave France a 2-1 lead, however a late aim by Youssef Mokhtari compelled the match to finish in a 2-2 draw.