Morocco’s Cinderella run came to an end on Wednesday at the hands of defending champions France after falling 2-0 but left the soccer world stunned at their display throughout the tournament.
France will now meet Lionel Messi and Argentina in the final on Sunday.
The World Cup semifinal on Wednesday set up a politically-charged atmosphere ahead of the match as the North African nation dispatched Spain and Portugal in the earlier rounds before its date with France — which had ruled Morocco for much of the 20th century.
Les Blues were able to neutralize Morocco’s attacks with aggressiveness and quick plays down the wings that left them chasing early just five minutes into the contest when Theo Hernández scored on an acrobatic shot with his left foot. French star Kylian Mbappé saw his shot inside the 18 deflect off of a defender that favorably bounced to Hernández, who put the defending champs up 1-0 early.
France was able to thwart a stunned Moroccan side that desperately sought the equalizer that never came. 
Morocco was known to be physical on second-ball challenges and were commended for their pace but the experience of the French appeared to be too much. France dominated proceedings throughout the match and Antoine Griezemann was on point, starting the attacks and tracking back to contend with any Moroccan chances at the French goal.
Mbappé participated in another attack for the French with 10 minutes left in the match when he danced his way through Morocco’s defense and took another shot that again deflected to a teammate, this time to Kolo Muani, who simply tapped the ball in for the comforting 2-0 lead.

Mbappé and the French are returning to their second consecutive final. The last time this occurred was in 1998 when defending champs Brazil — who won the World Cup in the U.S. in 1994 – reached the title match four years later only to lose to France, who obtained its first World Cup.

This time, the French will be defending their crown against Messi — Mbappé’s teammate at French club PSG — and the Argentines will still have their 4-2 loss in the Round of 16 four years ago on their minds.

Messi will also look to raise his first World Cup trophy, as this is likely his last chance to do so, while Mbappé could win his second Cup before turning 24 years old.