2022 FIFA World Cup™: France beat England 2-1 to reach the semi-finals
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An indomitable and courageous French team won a tense match against England on Saturday (2-1), reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and continued their dream until the new planetary final against Morocco on Wednesday. , the last step towards the impossible double.
The appetite of the world champions is boundless: for the first big meeting of the tournament, the Blues defeated a hapless England with the youth of Aurelien Tchouaméni and the experience of Olivier Giroud. Youth and experience, this is the perfect amalgamation of the Blues version of 2022, certainly more feverish than 2018, but perhaps a little more carefree.
“The state of mind really reminds me of 2018. These smiles, this joy on the faces, reminds me of beautiful things,” Giroud enjoyed.
Will the celebration continue against the Moroccans on Wednesday? Kylian Mbappe’s France, who finished in the last four of the World Cup for the second time in a row, as in 1982 and 1986, can no longer hide. He is favorite to reach his second world final in four-and-a-half years.
However, a very British gloom enveloped Doha on Saturday, a chilly World Cup day, with a few drops of rain even mixing with the emirate’s sandy dust in the morning.
But the Blues erased that bad omen with a mishap, or rather an authoritarian volley from Tchouaméni, author of the precious opening goal (17th), and a celebration worthy of his role model, Paul Pogba.
Harry Kane scored a fine equalizer (54th) from the penalty spot, but 16 months after losing the Euro final at home, he missed his second (84th) against his friend Hugo Lloris, watching his ball fly away with England’s cup dreams… on penalties.
On the other hand, France’s dreams remain intact, almost as much as Giroud’s anger at winning, his 53rd goal in Blue unafraid to head home.
It’s not the goal record in Blue (he’s held it since his eighth year), but it’s certainly the most of his career with 36 (78th). “It was an indescribable emotion,” he said.
France is unsinkable. Despite numerous injuries, defensive imbalances and two blunders by Tchouaméni and Theo Hernandez, both guilty of penalties, Didier Deschamps’ team are still there for the 7th world semi-final in their history.
“Quality is not enough, you also need intelligence, maybe a little experience,” said Deschamps with a smile, underlining the “collective force that emerges.”
The decisive Lloris record
A place in the last four, the goal set by the Federation, will certainly secure a contract extension for Deschamps, but it is not a priority at the moment.
The dream of a double, in fact, is approached by the whole of Africa and the Arab world as a whole, before the duel against the Moroccans, supported by a wave of supporters in Qatar.
This surprise opposition, unprecedented in a major competition, is an opportunity for Mbappe to meet his best friend Achraf Hakimi from Paris SG. But the challenge for the Blues star will be to get his head back on track after an underwhelming first appearance in the tournament.
At the same al-Bayt stadium in Al-Khor, on Tuesday, the blues will have their position, but also a heavy status to dress for the final match against Lionel Messi’s Argentina or Luka Modric’s Croatia on December 18, two. Potential remakes of the 2018 Russian epic.
The Three Lions and their captain Kane, inconsolable, will regret that they failed to finish their numerous opportunities in this breathless duel of neighbors, the first act of the new-born rivalry.
A younger generation of Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham or Marcus Rashford still defy the glass ceiling of not being able to score a benchmark win in a major competition against a world leader under Gareth Southgate’s mandate.
The Blues’ “weak point” according to the English press, but they will have to stoop very low in front of Lloris, who made six stops on Saturday. Hell’s answer, the evening of his 143rd pick, a record under a two-star uniform. But the captain would change all these records to the third star…