Morocco pushed France all the way to the final before the holders sealed their place against Argentina on Sunday.
Despite losing key defender Nayef Aguerd to injury after being named in the starting lineup and falling behind to Theo Hernandez’s scrambled fifth-minute goal, the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final refused to give up.
Despite Morocco’s efforts and spirit, France was more clinical and substitute. Kolo Muani’s deflected shot 11 minutes from time ensured they would defend their title against Argentina and Lionel Messi at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
Morocco also lost the clearly unfit Romain Saiss before halftime, but roared on by their adoring fans, they came dangerously close to drawing level, particularly when Jawad El Yamiq’s overhead kick was saved by a combination of the post and France keeper Hugo Lloris.
France, led by Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate, kept their cool in the sweltering heat of Al Bayt Stadium and had chances of their own, with Olivier Giroud hitting the post in the first half.
Didier Deschamps’ side was always dangerous on the break, and it paid off late on when the lurking Muani broke Morocco’s resistance.