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World Cup 2022: Morocco defeats Portugal and qualifies for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar

Morocco

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Moroccan national team players celebrate the historic qualification

The Moroccan national team became the first Arab and African team to qualify for the semi-finals in the FIFA World Cup, and also eliminated the dreams of the Portuguese, Cristiano Ronaldo, by winning the world title, which he escaped throughout his football career.

Youssef Al-Nasri scored the only goal of the match, after he rose above the Portuguese goalkeeper, Diego Costa, and landed the ball with his head in the net, freeing the throats of thousands of fans by cheering at Al-Thumama Stadium.

Ronaldo entered a substitute in the 50th minute of the match, equaling the largest number of participations with the national team, with a total of 196 matches, but he did not succeed in changing the outcome of the match.

The Moroccan national team relied on counterattacks, leaving possession of the ball to the Portuguese national team.

The cubs of Walid Al-Rakraki were able to open the registration door with the head of Youssef Al-Nusairi, receiving a distribution from his colleague, Yahya Atiyatallah.

Bruno Fernandez almost equalized after a few minutes, when his ball hit the horizontal bar of the Moroccan goalkeeper, Yassin Bounou.

The Moroccan national team relied on defense after the team captain and middle defender, Roman Sayes, was injured, and Hakim Zayas was also injured.

However, he showed tight organization and great danger in counter-attacks, as he missed at least two chances to deepen the difference in the final minutes of the match, through substitute Walid Shadira, who was red carded.

Bono brilliantly tackled Joao Felix’s attempt to adjust the score in stoppage time.

image copyright Getty Images

Morocco was the only team from outside Europe and South America to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup.

Morocco surprised football followers with its impressive level, leading Group Six, which included two of the most prominent candidates for the title, Croatia and Belgium, before ousting Spain, which won the World Cup in South Africa 2010.

The Atlas Lions scored only once, in the World Cup in Qatar.

image copyright Getty Images

And later on Saturday night, defending champions France take on England – the first time the two sides have met in the knockout stage of any competition ever.

Morocco is expected to play against the winner of the England-France match in the semi-finals next Wednesday at Khalifa International Stadium.

On Friday, Argentina and Croatia qualified for the semi-finals, by defeating the Netherlands and Brazil, respectively, on penalties.

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