Theo Hernandez celebrates his goal. (USA TODAY Sports)
The World Cup has its dream final.
Sunday’s championship game will pit defending champion France against Argentina and Kylian Mbappe and the great Lionel Messi, who is striving to win his first world championship.
The French made sure of that meeting as they bested Morocco in a 2-0 semifinal win at in Qatar on Wednesday.
The Argentines clinched their berth with a comprehensive 3-0 semifinal victory over Croatia on Tuesday.
Morocco and Croatia will play in the third-place match on Saturday.
Depending on your vantage point, it was fantastic start for France or a nightmare one for Morocco.
Only five minutes after the opening kickoff, the French were celebrating a goal as Theo Hernandez put home a rebound of a Yassine Bounou save of a Mbappe shot with a half volley on the left side of the area.
Morocco suffered a huge blow when team captain Roman Saiss was forced from the match with an injury in the 21st minute. Selim Amallah replaced him.
Olivier Giroud almost made it 2-0 when his shot from bounded off the left post in the 17th minute.
The Africans wanted to keep France off the scoreboard as long as possible, needed to pull out of their defensive posture and attack more.
They almost equalized on two occasions in the first half as French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris turned out to be the star, making two saves.
Azzedine Ounahi rammed a shot that Lloris saved in the 10th minute. Lloris dove to his left to palm away Jawad El Yamiq’s bicycle kick inside the area in the 44th minute.
Randal Kolo Muani gave the French a 2-0 cushion in the 79th minute. Mbappe, who attracted several defenders toward him in the penalty, sent a deflected pass to Muani on the right side of the penalty area. Muani then slammed the shot home for an important insurance goal.
The Moroccans had many chances in the second half, but could not find the range, had shots blocked as French defenders continually cleared the ball out of the box.