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France World Cup fixtures: Les Blues path to the Qatar 2022 final as they suffer title heartbreak – Sporting News

France were aiming to seal an historic repeat, as Didier Deschamps’ side looked to retain their World Cup title at Qatar 2022.
In the end, they fell just short after a a heartbreaking final defeat to Argentina on penalties, following a pulsating 3-3 draw.
Les Bleus secured their second-ever World Cup triumph in Russia four years ago, 20 years on from their debut title on home turf in Paris back at France 1998.
However, the challenge of keeping hold of the famous trophy has eluded even the best sides for decades, with Italy and Brazil still the only two nations ever to retain the World Cup.
Deschamps has a squad filled with superstar talent, but they had been decimated by injuries and their last-16 exit at Euro 2020 had raised doubts. Having made the showpiece against Argentina, they just failed to take the final step.
MORE: As it happened — France miss out on repeat after pulsating 2022 World Cup final
France kicked off their Group D quest with a convincing 4-1 win over Australia, just a few hours after the group opener saw Denmark and Tunisia play out a 0-0 draw.
Deschamps’ side fell behind to an early goal before France found their groove as a brace from Olivier Giroud, coupled with goals from Kylian Mbappe and Adrien Rabiot, sealed the win.
It wasn’t quite so convincing in terms of the scoreline against Denmark, but the swagger with which France played was the same, and a Kylian Mbappe double was enough to edge it 2-1 and book their place in the knockouts with a game to spare.
Tunisia followed, and Deschamps used the chance to rest some of his superstars with the job already done — and it showed, as they went down 1-0 to a first-ever competitive defeat against the North Africans.
In the end, it mattered little, though, as they advance to the knockouts, and then breezed past Poland in the Round of 16.
England were next up, and despite a nervy test, Les Bleus came through 2-1 in their quarterfinal to book a spot in the last four against Morocco. Olivier Giroud scored to continue his record-breaking tournament.
It was far from plain sailing against the Atlas Lions in the semifinal. Theo Hernandez struck in the fifth minute with an acrobatic finish, but from there France were forced to hold on for long spells.
They sealed the deal when substitute Roland Kolo Muani scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, to book their place in the decider.



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