France beats England to reach World Cup semis vs. Morocco

December 11, 2022, 9:15 am

ANKARA – Defending champion France edged England 2-1 to reach the World Cup semifinals on Saturday.

A header by French forward Olivier Giroud found the hands of England’s goalie Jordan Pickford in the 11th minute.

Aurelien Tchouameni's hit a screamer to the left bottom corner of the net that gave the lead to France in the 17th minute.

England’s Luke Shaw's free kick from dangerous range was held by France keeper Hugo Lloris in the 21st minute.

Lloris made another critical save in a one-on-one against Harry Kane in the 22nd minute.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) called off a penalty for England in the 26th minute.

Kane's excellent long-range effort was saved superbly by his Tottenham teammate Lloris in the 29th minute and the first half ended 1-0.

England's Jude Bellingham's hard shot was denied by Lloris and the ensuing danger from the corner kick in the 48th minute.

Kane finally beat Lloris with a penalty kick in the 54th minute and joined Wayne Rooney atop England’s list of goal-scorers with 53.

One minute later, Adrien Rabiot's attempt was denied by Pickford.

Lloris showed safe hands against Bukayo Saka's attempt in the 60th minute.

English defender Harry Maguire's header missed the mark above the left crossbar in the 70th minute.

Pickford made a clinical save against Giroud's close-range attempt in the 77th minute but one minute later, Giroud beat Pickford with a header, giving France the lead.

Kane, the English captain, missed an opportunity to level the match and become the Three Lions top scorer when he wasted a VAR penalty in the 83rd minute.

Marcus Rashford's free kick was inches from going in the French goal in the 101st minute.

Lloris became the player with the most appearances for the French National Team with 143 matches. He passed Lilian Thuram's 142 caps.

France will take on Morocco in the semifinal Wednesday.

1st African nation to reach semis

Morocco beat Portugal 1-0 and became the first African nation to reach FIFA World Cup semifinals in Qatar 2022 on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named on the bench for the match at the Al Thumama Stadium.

Portuguese attacker Joao Felix's early attempt in the 5th minute was denied by Morocco goalie Bono, and just a minute later Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri's header went over the bar.

En-Nesyri wasted another promising header in the 26th minute.

In the 31st minute, Felix's almost lucky shot was deflected to corner by inches from the left top corner.

But En-Nesyri's third header found the net and gave lead to Morocco in the 42nd minute.

Bruno Fernandes' equalizing attempt returned from the crossbar in the 45th minute and the first half ended 1-0.

Hakim Ziyech's long range freekick caused trouble in Portugal penalty area, but it missed the post by inches in the end in the 50th minute.

Ronaldo entered the game in the 51st minute to play his 196th match and equal Kuwait's Bader Al-Mutawa's record for most international caps.

Portugal's Gonzalo Ramos' promising header was wasted in the 58th minute, while midfielder Bruno Fernandes' long shot was inches over in the 64th minute.

Felix's good shot tipped over well by Morocco keeper Bono in the 83rd minute.

Ronaldo could not pass Bono one-on-one in the 91st minute.

Morocco's Walid Cheddira, who got in the game in the 65th minute, was then sent off with two yellow cards in three minutes.

Zakaria Aboukhlal of Morocco missed one-on-one with keeper Diogo Costa in the 96th minute.

Portuguese veteran defender Pepe missed a promising header in the 97th minute, and the game ended 1-0.


As the referee blew the final whistle, the Atlas Lions started celebrating their historic victory. Many Portugal players, meanwhile, burst into tears, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

The celebrations that started in the stadium, quickly spread to Rabat and other parts of Morocco, as well as Doha.

In Morocco’s capital Rabat, where fans had crowded into cafes to watch the game, flags were seen waving and horns honking.

Moroccan fans in Brussels also took to the streets and celebrated the win with a fireworks display.

While Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sported a Moroccan flag in the stadium, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated the team on Twitter. (Anadolu)