AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — France and Kylian Mbappé are headed back to the World Cup final for a much-anticipated matchup with Lionel Messi after ending Morocco’s historic run at soccer’s biggest tournament.
France beat Africa’s first ever semifinalist 2-0 Wednesday, with Mbappé playing a part in goals by Theo Hernandez in the fifth minute and then substitute Randal Kolo Muani in the 79th.
France will head into Sunday’s title match against Argentina looking to become the first team to retain the World Cup title since Brazil in 1962. Mbappé has the chance to cement his status as soccer’s new superstar when he comes up against the 35-year-old Messi, who has dominated the game with Cristiano Ronaldo for the past 15 years.
There will be no team from the Arab world in the final of the first World Cup in the Middle East, a prospect that seemed nigh impossible before the tournament.
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