Morocco sub Selim Amallah taken back off by manager in rarely seen moment in World Cup semi-final defeat to France

MOROCCAN midfielder Selim Amallah was taken off in the 78th minute of their World Cup semi-final loss to France, despite only coming on as a first-half substitute.

The 26-year-old replaced the injured Romain Saiss midway through the first period after the Wolves centre-back was forced off with a recurring injury.

Selim Amallah came on for Romain Saiss in the 21st minuteRex

GettyHe was then taken off with 12 minutes remaining as Morocco went in search of a goal[/caption]

It meant a change in formation for the Atlas Lions as midfielder Amallah’s introduction saw them switch from a back five to their more familiar 4-3-3.

It came after Theo Hernandez had given reigning world champions France the lead in the fifth minute.

But Morocco dominated large periods of the game from then on, particularly in the second half.

Yet they could not find a way through and so needed to go to an even more attacking approach as the game went on.

And manager Walid Regragui had few ways he could change it given Nayef Aguerd was swapped out before kick-off due to injury, before Saiss went off in the first period and Noussair Mazraoui was taken off at half-time.

As a result, he took substitute Amallah off for Abde Ezzalzouli in a move you rarely see in football.

But on this occasion the “sub for a sub” change did not come because Amallah had been poor.

In fact, the Standard Liege man had impressed for Morocco as they dominated the middle of the park for big chunks of the match.

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It was merely a move to try and get more players forward in the closing stages in search of a goal.

As it transpired, France ended up killing off the game moments later when Kylian Mbappe‘s shot deflected into the path of Randal Kolo Muani who tapped home.

Morocco will now end their best ever World Cup with a third-place play-off against Croatia on Saturday, before France take on Argentina for the trophy on Sunday.

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