Paris: There were jubilant scenes on the Champs-Elysees avenue in central Paris on Wednesday as French supporters waved tricolour flags and let off flares to celebrate the win over Morocco which put Les Bleus into the World Cup final.
Some 10,000 police were mobilised across France to ensure the match and its aftermath went off peacefully, given the potential of a tension between French supporters and those backing France's one time North African colony.
Celebrations in Paris
But there was little sign of tension as supporters thronged the end of the avenue leading up to the Arc de Triomphe in impassioned but largely good-natured scenes with Moroccan supporters accepting defeat, AFP correspondents said.
"We are in the final. We are in the final," hundreds of French supporters chanted as drivers sounded horns and anti-riot police lurked in vans lining the area.
"What pleasure it will be to play Argentina in the final," said Sylvain Badin, 24, clutching a French flag. "I came to share a moment of joy," he added.
Dozens of Moroccan fans had also made themselves heard during the match in the area, swathing themselves in the national flag and following the match on their phones.
"We lost but it's only football and we made history by making the semi-finals. We are proud of our country and happy for France," said Kamal Seddiki, a Moroccan student, 22.
There had been 170 arrests nationwide, including 100 in Paris, when both Morocco and France made the semi-finals at the weekend.
'We are together'
But celebrations appeared free of tension and a van of the French anti-riot police even used one of its sirens to mark the moment when Kolo Muani scored the goal to give France a decisive 2-0 lead.
Anti-riot police did however move to disperse a group of fans who were setting off fireworks around the Arc de Triomphe.
In the southern city of Nice, trash cans were however set on fire after the game where thousands had gathered in the centre of the city, an AFP photographer said.
In Lyon, police also used tear gas when supporters began to let off firecrackers in the central Place Bellecour.
As in any post-colonial relationship, Morocco, which won independence in 1956, has its grievances with France, most notably over the question of visas.
Over a million Moroccans are believed to live in France and security forces had been on alert for any clashes like those in Brussels that marked Morocco's shock win over Belgium in the group stages.
"We are happy for France," said Hossam Boutalah, 20, a Moroccan flag on his back in the southwestern city of Bordeaux where the central square was packed for the match.
"We are brothers after all, we are together. It is our second country. Morocco played well and would have deserved to score a goal," he said.