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World Cup Rewind: France edges England, Morocco shocks Portugal


France faced its toughest test yet at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday against tournament contenders England but kept its dreams of back-to-back titles alive by eliminating the Three Lions in regulation.

Olivier Giroud scored the winning goal for Les Bleus while Harry Kane’s missed penalty kick helped France advance by a 2-1 scoreline. Morocco will oppose Didier Deschamps’ squad in the semifinal round on Wednesday.

France needed only 17 minutes to break the deadlock against the Three Lions with Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni scoring his second international goal. Tchuouameni’s left-footed strike from outside of the box left Jordan Pickford scrambling to his left before watching the shot nestled into the bottom-left corner.

England began to up its pressure as the first half went on as Hugo Lloris made three saves before halftime. Luke Shaw and Harry Kane were denied by the Tottenham veteran keeper before Lloris also repelled Kane’s long-range shot from sneaking in under the crossbar.

Tchouameni gifted England the chance to tie things up early in the second half after the 21-year-old tripped Bukayo Saka in the box. Kane stepped up and beat Lloris to the left side of the net, tying him with Wayne Rooney for the England all-time goalscoring lead.

France responded in a big way though with Giroud playing the hero in the 78th minute. Giroud’s header deflected in off Harry Maguire, giving Les Bleus a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Kane had a second opportunity to score from the spot in the 84th minute, but his penalty attempt skied into the stands. Theo Hernandez was whistled for pushing Mason Mount over in the box, but Kane could not beat his Tottenham teammate for a second time.

Marcus Rashford’s last-gasp free kick landed on top of Lloris’ net, ending the latest dream for England.

France will meet Morocco on Wednesday with a place in the finals at stake.

Morocco 1, Portugal 0

(Youssef En-Nesyri 42′)

Morocco became the first African country to reach the World Cup semifinals on Saturday after defeating Portugal 1-0 for a shock quarterfinals victory.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored the lone goal for Walid Regragui’s side while Yassine Bounou registered a three-save clean sheet for Morocco. It will be Morocco’s first-ever semifinal appearance.

Morocco struck first in the 42nd minute as Yahya Attiat-Allah’s cross hung in the air and En-Nesyri snuck in front of Diogo Costa to head home. It was a breakdown by the Portugal backline, which watched as En-Nesyri celebrated his second goal of the tournament.

Bruno Fernandes struck the crossbar before halftime, continuing Portugal’s frustration in front of goal.

Joao Felix was denied for a second time in the match as Morocco continued to hang on defensively. Bounou repelled Felix’s left-footed shot in the 82nd minute before also punching away Cristiano Ronaldo’s half volley in stoppage time.

Morocco held on to knock out Portugal and keep its World Cup dreams alive.


  1. Grant Wahl will be missed. A soccer journalist when the sport was just gaining traction in the US. Interestingly, Grant had a acrimonious relationship with Sports Illustrated once the print magazine was sold to Maven, a web media company. Maven temporarily cut pay 30% to all writers during the pandemic, then tried to force this condition permanently on the employees when the lockdowns ended. Grant Wahl raised his voice and was fired, and instead went free lance. Many veteran SI writers were so incensed with Maven’s treatment of Wahl they too sought employment elsewhere. The magazine is now a shell of its former self.

    • We already imitated the French youth system with Bradenton academy. Bradenton was supposed to be the USA’s Clairefontain academy. Bradenton was not very successful.

      • Did you know Landon Donovan, Oneywu, DMB, & Beckerman were at IMG during the U20 run in 1999. Michael Bradley & Altidore are also alumni. A lot of appearances, assists & goals for the national team. So I guess, my question is what’s your definition of success?

      • Success would be more than one u17 team playing well and producing some players. And one u20 team playing well and producing a couple of players.

        Since the dissolution of Bradenton you can clearly see the amount of talented players coming from the MLS academy system. Bradenton was a good idea for the time, but not feasible now with MLS academies and the amount of development the players are getting now.

      • A problem with Bradenton was simply that not all parents of talented 15 year olds wanted their child to move over a thousand miles away. It worked for some, but it missed many who could have benefitted. I think the present situation with MLS clubs providing that training is, if not better, at least affords quite high level training to more players. Adams, Aaronson, and some others are examples of how that can work.

      • i think they have already raised the question of how many players bradenton helped. i don’t think they addressed (a) the relative success of the MNT following this (eg 2002) or (b) that the current senior MNT doesn’t look like it has played together much — a consequence of decentralized development where players have maybe seen each other for no more than occasional short regional or YNT camps as kids but not trained together at length, or been taught any particular approach as a unit. last, (c) surely there is some sort of joint solution. in france, players train at INF during the week but go home for club games. not sure how workable that is in a country this big, but couldn’t we do something like create a summer setup for unsigned high promise college players and U17s? maybe even play PDL.

        you’re also not getting into how USSF, to me, has used the development of MLS academies as an excuse to disinvest in not just bradenton but also the nascent development league.

        to me only a % of the MLS teams take development seriously. Philly and FCD have a pile. Houston has barely any HGP and when it goes come up with some U17s (eg Gitau, Pinilla) a few have declined to sign here and typically fizzled out before U20. i kind of feel like they dropped centralized soccer before enough academies were well funded and functional. they created a blank space before those teams actually showed they had their crap together.

      • i also think you’re avoiding the basic thrust of my question, why do we imitate losers’ systems? development, tactics, etc.? we don’t pick the winners’ ideas. we don’t even seem to seem to care if the tactics match up with a typical american player of today. europe is not a monolith so maybe match what the winners try.

      • 2tone – You can’t even answer a simple question. You said what success is not, when the question I ask -what is success? An academy that produces 6 hall of famer’s for a country isn’t success?! What are talking about?! USA 1st won a youth tournament in 2019. I was 19 in ‘99, IMG was the talk out of my home state (FLA) for this sport. Either you didn’t grow up then, or in the state, or you don’t remember how huge IMG academy was for youth soccer in America in the 90s/00s. To say IMG, it is unsuccessful, isn’t true! Players 1st & 2nd in assists, 1st & 2nd in goals, multiple players with 100 appearances for the senior team is a success. Academy’s are there to develop players into professionals who get paid. If they develop into national team players, that’s even better! IMG can check both of those on the list. Who cares if it’s a u17 or u20 in 99, my point is that those players were at IMG in ‘99.

  2. Ives,
    I want to take this chance to remember Grant Wahl, the NY Times soccer reporter who died yesterday in Qatar. He is gone too soon and sadly never lived to see the USMNT succeed as much as we would all like. I, for one, will miss the articles he will never get to write about how the US won the Men’s World Cup. in …

    • Well said. Top writer that very much helped grow this sport in the USA. Mr. Wahl will be with the USWNT this summer and with the USMNT in 2026!

    • I echo your sentiments for Grant Wahl. I have been reading his work for his entire career and he was a massive influence on my interest in the game. A terrible loss, as he clearly had much more to give.
      While I feel silly doing this, I do feel compelled to make a minor correction to your comment. Wahl was not a New York Times reporter. He made is name with Sports Illustrated, eventually moving on to Fox, and most recently working on an effectively freelance basis across multiple platforms. Pretty much the biggest name in American soccer journalism over the last 20 years.
      One additional fact that few may remember. Grant Wahl broke into sports journalism as a college basketball writer. And he wrote the iconic SI cover-piece in 2002 about the then-unknown LeBron James which launched his brand into the market consciousness. LeBron James expressed some kind thoughts about Grant last night when the news broke. Terrible tragedy.

      • Not only the biggest but for many Americans maybe the first.

        Grant Wahl was the first time it seemed like a major American sports outlet, Sports Illustrated had a dedicated soccer writer.

        He was a pioneering, integral part of American soccer. He made a difference. Not many can say that.

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