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WATCH: Amrabat stops charging Mbappe who responds with cheeky nutmeg against Morocco

4:18 PM SGT 15/12/22
20221214 Sofyan Amrabat
Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat had an extra shift in trying to contain France star Kylian Mbappe in Wednesday’s Fifa World Cup semi-final showdown.
  • France beat Morocco on Wednesday
  • Interesting duel between Amrabat and Mbappe
  • Morocco will now fight for third place

WHAT HAPPENED? France beat the Atlas Lions 2-0 to progress to the final of the World Cup for a second successive tournament. Goals in either half from Theo Hernandez and substitute Kolo Muani ensured victory for Les Bleus. But throughout the match, there was an interesting battle between Morocco defensive midfielder Amrabat and Mbappe.

In one instance, Mbappe sprinted through the left flank and then Amrabat's sliding tackle on him resulted in so much pain for the Frenchman that he required extended medical attention. Someone had to stop Mbappe who was charging towards the goal and it had to be Amrabat. The Atlas Lions linkman commendably caught up with Mbappe’s terrific pace and tackled the Paris Saint-Germain star just outside the box. It was a crucial intervention that possibly saved Morocco from further damage.

Later on, in stoppage time, Mbappe got his 'revenge', nutmegging Amrabat and leaving an awestruck commentator exclaiming, “Oh! Watch this, bye-bye.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Other than the Amrabat-Mbappe duel, Morocco gave their all in Wednesday’s semi-final clash. It appears they had a plan for the marauding Mbappe although they let him waltz past their defenders to set up Muani with a deflection. It was the Altas Lions’ first defeat of this World Cup.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? After an impressive World Cup outing so far, the Atlas Lions will now be eager to beat Croatia in Saturday’s third-place play-off. Finishing as the world’s third-best team would cap a fine year for Morocco who already made history by becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals.