Morocco beat Portugal to turn out to be the primary African crew to achieve the World Cup semi-finals

Morocco turned the primary African nation to achieve the World Cup semi-finals, as Youssef En-Nesiri’s first-half objective sealed a tense 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday at Thumama Stadium.

FIFA World Cup 2022 © FMM Graphics studio The Atlas Lions, additionally the primary Arab crew to achieve the spherical of 4, added Portugal to the checklist of European head rackets with a robust efficiency within the second half.

Cristiano Ronaldo might have performed his final World Cup match after showing ineffectively as a second-half substitute, failing to attain his first objective within the match’s knockout stage.

Morocco took the lead within the forty second minute with a header by En-Nesiri, who got here late strongly within the first half.

Portugal ramped up the strain after the break, however injury-hit Morocco, with out three of the 4 defenders beforehand chosen having to go away captain Romain Saïss, was suspended regardless of being diminished to 10 males in further time.

The partisan crowd undoubtedly helped the North Africans cross the road, though Portugal struggled to create many clear probabilities as they misplaced within the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the primary time.

5-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was dispatched early within the second half by coach Fernando Santos, however was unable to avoid wasting the Euro 2016 winner.


As a substitute, it was one other celebrated day for Morocco, after stunning wins over Belgium and Spain, on penalties, in Qatar.

Walid Rekragui’s males will face defending champions England or France within the semi-finals at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday.

Morocco will assume they will dethrone both of those groups, having conceded simply as soon as within the World Cup finals.

Portugal loved nearly all of possession within the first half hour, however Joao Felix’s header within the fifth minute, which was saved by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, got here closest to an early objective.

Morocco all the time seemed harmful, although, and Slim Amalallah fired a strong shot and Sofiane Boufal fired straight at Diogo Costa for the Africans.

En-Nesyri’s strikes got here as no shock when Morocco took the lead shortly earlier than half-time.

Portuguese goalkeeper Costa got here to get a cross from the left again, Yahya Atiyatallah, who was not on his solution to attain it, and Seville striker Al-Nusiri did the remainder with a strong header.

Portugal equalized virtually seconds later in gorgeous vogue when Bruno Fernandes hit a rebound from the suitable facet of the penalty space in opposition to the crossbar.

A couple of minutes earlier than the top of the primary half, the insanity additionally noticed Atiyatullah, who was solely enjoying rather than the injured Naseer Mazraoui, shine broad after one other fast response.

Portugal gamers are nonetheless calling for a penalty after Fernandez threw himself on the bottom beneath strain from Ashraf Hakimi on the different finish.

Morocco virtually doubled their lead 4 minutes into the second half as Costa managed to dam a Hakim Ziyech free-kick from the suitable from flying all the best way.

Santos wasted little time calling up his captain, as he dispatched Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo within the 51st minute.

Morocco suffered one other blow as a result of absence of injured defenders Al Mazraoui and Naif Ajourd as a result of absence of Sayes.

Portugal started to shut in on the opponents’ objective and Fernandez got here near equalizing once more when he shot from the sting of the penalty space with issue.

Morocco was largely protecting Portugal at bay, however Bono needed to be at his greatest to overhaul Felix’s drive with eight minutes left.

Eight minutes of damage time have been largely spent for Portugal within the Morocco half and Ronaldo virtually had his second when Bono parried his low shot.

Moroccan substitute Walid Chedira was harshly despatched off for selecting up a second yellow card inside two minutes.

Zakaria Abukhalal ought to have put the sport to mattress solely to dive straight into Costa when he succeeds.

However his crew by some means held onto the initiative to jot down their names within the historical past books as Pepe headed away from shut vary on the demise.


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