France have an early lead over Morocco.
In just the fifth minute of their 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal on Wednesday, left back Theo Hernandez put Les Bleus on top.
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After Antoine Griezmann made a run that saw a Moroccan center back slip, Hernandez got in the perfect spot to capitalize off Kylian Mbappe’s deflected shot attempt.
It marked the 25-year-old’s first goal of the tournament to go with two assists he’s collected since replacing his older brother, Theo, who had torn his ACL in the Group D opener against Australia.
Yassine Bounou also conceded a goal from the opposition for the first time this tournament, and it also marked Morocco’s first time trailing in Qatar. The only goal the Atlas Lions had allowed prior to this was an own goal against Canada.
France’s goal also bodes well statistically, as it has avoided defeat in its last 25 World Cup matches when scoring first.
And on another statistical note, Hernandez’s goal is the earliest in a World Cup semifinal since 1958.