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The history of the “Atlas Lions” in the World Cup before the “legendary epic” against France

The Moroccan national team is in a historic confrontation when it meets France on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup, as the “Atlas Lions” seeks to present a legendary epic and qualify for the final match.

The following are excerpts from Morocco’s participation in the FIFA World Cup, after its historic achievement by reaching the semi-finals in Qatar.


* 1970:
– The Moroccan national team appeared for the first time in the World Cup in Mexico 1970, where it was close to achieving a resounding surprise in the first match against West Germany, and advanced in the result with the goal of Mohamed Hamane in the 21st minute.

Morocco’s lead lasted until the 52nd minute when the Germans equalized, then Gerd Müller scored the winning goal ten minutes from time.

– Morocco lost its second match 3-0 against Peru and then drew 1-1 against Bulgaria, with the equalizer scored by striker Mouhoub El Ghazouani.


* 1986:
– Morocco became the first African team to qualify for the second round of the World Cup in its second participation in Mexico in 1986, as it topped its group ahead of three European teams.
– After Morocco tied goallessly against Poland and England, the team known as the “Atlas Lions” presented its best level at the end of the group stage when it beat Portugal 3-1 thanks to a brace from Abdel Razzak Khairy and a goal from Abdel Karim Meri (Kremo).
– Morocco collided with Germany, but this time in the second round, and the tie continued without goals, until Lotter Matthaus snatched the victory two minutes before the end of the regular time, thanks to a free kick.

* 1994:
– The Moroccan national team presented its worst level in America 1994, as it lost its three matches and went out without any point.

– Morocco lost in the opening round 0-1 against Belgium, then faltered 1-2 against Saudi Arabia, when Mohamed Al-Shawish scored his country’s only goal, while the other Arab team scored by Sami Al-Jaber and Fouad Anwar.

– Morocco concluded its campaign with a third consecutive loss, 1-2 against the Netherlands, with the only goal coming from Hassan Nazer.


* 1998:
– Morocco returned to participate in the 1998 World Cup in France, where it started its campaign with a 2-2 draw against Norway with the goals of Mostafa Hajji and Abdel Jalil Hedda (Camacho), then the loss came by three against Brazil.

– Morocco came close to advancing to the second round by defeating Scotland 3-0 with a brace from Salah El-Din Bassir and a goal by Camacho, but Brazil’s sudden loss 1-2 against Norway, after conceding two goals in the final minutes, shattered dreams of progress in the competition.


* 2018:
– The Moroccan national team returned to participate in the World Cup after an absence of 20 years and opened its fifth participation in Russia 2018 by losing narrowly, 0-1 against Iran, with a reverse goal.
– The Moroccan national team stumbled against Portugal in the second round with a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, then tied in the last meeting against Spain 2-2 with two goals from Khaled Boutayeb and Youssef Nusiri and paid the price of falling into a difficult group.


* 2022:
– It seemed that the Moroccan national team’s career would not differ much from previous editions, as it tied negatively with Croatia at the start of Group F despite the strong performance, but the Arab country’s national team sent a warning message to competitors and raised the fans’ hopes by beating Belgium, which ranked second in the FIFA rankings 2-0. for the game in the second match.

Morocco continued its brilliance by defeating Canada 2-1 at the end of the group stage, to qualify at the top of its group to the round of sixteen to face Spain, the 2010 world champion.

The Moroccan national team withstood its Spanish counterpart and tied without goals in the regular and then extra time, so that the two teams resorted to penalty kicks, in which goalkeeper Yassine Bono starred, who prevented Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets from scoring from the penalty mark after Pablo Sarabia hit the goal frame, to become the first Arab team Qualified for the quarter-finals in the history of the tournament.

The strong performances of the Moroccan national team continued with surprises, this time with a 1-0 victory over Portugal in the quarter-finals, thanks to a header from Youssef Al-Nusairi, to become the first Arab and African team to reach the semi-finals.

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