France becomes fifth country in a row to reach WC final

France forward Randal Kolo Muani

The French national team have once again advanced to the World Cup finals for the second consecutive tournament after defeating one of Africa's richest countries, Morocco 2-0 in their semi-final clash at Al Bayt Stadium.

Les Bleus took on an early lead just five minutes into the game when wing-back Theo Hernandez acrobatically smashed in Kylian Mbappé's blocked effort into the net of the Ousud Al-atla with his left foot.

Morocco responded quickly to the goal and came close to equalizing when they forced France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a crucial save to deny Azzedine Ounahi's excellent shot from outside the box.

AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud, who has been in excellent form since the start of the tournament, came close to doubling France's lead seven minutes later when his powerful strike hit the goalpost.

Hugo Lloris was once again called into action towards the end of the first half, thwarting Jawad El Yamiq's well-struck bicycle kick.

Eleven minutes to the end of the match, France doubled their lead from substitute Randal Kolo Muani's first touch after replacing Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele to secure a place in the World Cup final.

Kolo Muani's goal, which triggered different emotions at the 68294 Al Bayt Stadium, made France the fifth national team to play in consecutive World Cup finals, after Italy, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Didier Deschamps' side will face Lionel Messi's Argentina, who booked a place in the World Cup final after beating Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday night at Lusail Stadium.

The World Champions will hope to win their third World Cup trophy on Sunday, December 18, at the 40,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, but will face a huge test against a front line that includes an in-form Lionel Messi and Manchester City's gifted striker Julian Alvarez.

The World Cup will also mark Lionel Messi's second appearance in a World Cup final, having lost to Germany in extra time in the 20th edition of the competition in 2014.