France Beats Morocco, Faces Argentina in the Final


Allison Bower

Both Argentina and France are fighting for their third World Cup trophy this Sunday.

Azzurra Degliuomini, Editor

Morocco’s Atlas Lions’ undefeated, historic World Cup streak came to an end on Wednesday after France’s Blues defeated them 2-0.

Morocco was not a team many saw going far, and yet, they did just that. They shattered ceilings and rewrote World Cup history. Before the France match, the country had only conceded one goal, and that was an own goal during the Morocco-Canada game. No opposition team had scored on Morocco throughout the World Cup before France, penalties included.

They started this World Cup off with a draw against Croatia, but then went on to beat top-rated Belgium 2-0 and Canada 2-1. They topped their group, and went on to defeat Spain 3-0 on penalties during the Round of 16, and ultimately went on to defeat favorite Portugal 1-0 in the Quarter-finals, setting them up for their Semi-final against France.

Unfortunately for Morocco, their hard-fought game against the reigning champions was simply not enough to let them pull off a victory.

After a quick goal in the first few minutes of the game by the French, Morocco had to switch their usual defensive strategy to an offense so they could try to equalize. There were multiple close calls when they could have done so, but it ultimately did not happen. Their loss was solidified when France scored one more time toward the end of the game.

Morocco will be facing Croatia once again on Saturday at 10 am to compete for the third-place spot in this year’s World Cup.

France, the defending champions, on the other hand, will be fighting to make history by becoming the first nation in 60 years to win back-to-back World Cups. Les Blues won their second world cup back in the 2018 World Cup, so they came in with a lot of weight. They fought throughout the group stages, only losing once against Tunisia. They also topped their group, going on to beat Poland 3-1 in the Round of 16 and then England 2-1 in the Quarter-finals to secure their match against Morocco.

This game was emotional for members of both sides of the field, though.

France’s Kylian Mbappe and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi are good friends who usually play on the same field together for Paris Saint-Germain, but Wednesday’s game had them pitted against each other. Fortunately, the friendship between the two was stronger.

When both sides were in the tunnels preparing to walk out into the field for kick-off, they were spotted smiling at each other, doing their handshake before hugging each other. After the game, Mbappe was spotted consoling his friend, hugging him before they ultimately swapped jerseys with one another. They were also seen hanging out together inside the tunnels after the game’s end.

“Mbappe and Hakimi show me what true friendship is,” one student says. “They were rivals on the pitch today, but they both dropped it at the final whistle, comforting each other.”

Mbappe will have a shot at a second World Cup trophy at just the age of 23 with France’s National Team.

They will be facing Argentina in the World Cup Final on Sunday, December 18 at 10 am.

Argentina started this World Cup on shaky grounds, shockingly losing to Saudi Arabia 2-1 in their first World Cup game.

But, they quickly made a comeback, beating Mexico and Poland 2-0 in both games. After that, they went on to defeat Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16, the Netherlands 2-2 and then 4-3 on penalties in the Quarter-Finals, and finally Croatia 3-0 in the Semi-Finals.

This win for Argentina would be just as historic. This would be the third time overall and the first time since 1986 that Argentina would raise the World Cup trophy. This would also be Lionel Messi’s first and only World Cup title, as he is no longer playing in the World Cup following 2022, cementing him, for many, as the Greatest of all Time.

“I’m really excited for this Final,” another student says. “Both of these teams are incredible strong; it’s going to make for a good final showdown.”

Regardless of who wins on Sunday, the ones who will raise the World Cup trophy will make history.