Defending champion France reached the semifinals along with Argentina, Croatia and the African juggernaut Morocco, which became the first African and Arab nation in the history of the FIFA World Cup to book a place in the last four.
While Argentina will play Croatia in the first semifinal, France will face the Atlas Lions, the giant killers in Qatar World Cup, on Thursday night.
A former French colony Morocco is one of the two undefeated sides - Croatia is the other- to reach the semifinal in this World Cup.
Morocco defeated Belgium and Canada in the group stage, and 2010 champion Spain in the round of 16. In the quarterfinal, it beat Euro 2016 winner Portugal to secure a place in the semifinals. Walid Regragui’s defensively strong side has conceded just one goal en route to the semifinals against Canada.
France, which won its second World Cup title in Russia four years ago, started its title defence with wins over Australia and Denmark but lost to African side Tunisia 1-0. In the pre-quarterfinal, the Les Blues registered a resounding 3-1 win over Poland and followed that with a magnificent 2-1 win over England in the quarterfinal.
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As the stage is set for yet another mouthwatering clash, here is how France and Morocco have fared in their previous meetings.
France and Morocco have met five times so far in international friendlies. But they have never met in the World Cup. This will be their first meeting at the showpiece event.
Their first meeting came in 1988 when France beat Morocco 2-1. However, in unrecognised matches, the two sides played multiple times in the 1960s.
In a friendly in 1998, Morocco prevailed over France in a penalty shootout. The Atlas Lions took a 2-0 lead from a brace by Salaheddine Bassir before Laurent Blanc and Youri Djorkaeff levelled the score. In the shootout, Morocco won, its only win over France.
HEAD TO HEAD
The two sides met again in 1999 and 2000, with France beating Morocco 1-0 and 5-1, respectively. Thierry Henry, Djorkaeff, Christophe Dugarry, Nicolas Anelka, and Sylvain Wiltord scored for France.
The most recent meeting between France and Morocco came in a friendly in 2007 when they settled for a 2-2 draw at Stade de France, Paris.
In the eighth minute, Tarik Sektioui put Morocco ahead. Sidney Govou equalised within seven minutes. In the second half, Samir Nasri gave France a 2-1 lead, but a late goal by Youssef Mokhtari forced the match to end in a 2-2 draw.
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