Morocco- The First African Team to reach FIFA WORLD CUP Semi-Final, Portugal “OUT” of World Cup!
Morocco will become the first African team in history to play in the World Cup semi-finals after beating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on Saturday.
In an incredibly cagey affair at the Al Thumama Stadium, Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half goal proved to be the difference.
As expected, Portugal, with star player and captain Ronaldo left on the bench again, dominated possession with Morocco counter-attacking at every possible opportunity.
Joao Felix came the closest to breaking the deadlock early on with three great chances either just off target or saved by keeper Yassine Bounou.
But it was En-Nesyri who became the star man just before the break with his powerful header finding the back of the net after Portugal keeper Diogo Costa rushed off his line but failed to get anywhere near the ball.
After the break, Portugal threw everything they had to find an equaliser, with Ronaldo coming on for his 196th cap – a men’s football record.
Yet they failed to generate too many meaningful chances, with Morocco’s players holding firm despite looking visibly shattered.
Felix’s curling effort sparked a bit more life in Portugal’s attack, with Ronaldo and fellow veteran Pepe also coming close in injury time, but even after substitute Walid Cheddira was sent off for the African side for a second bookable offence, another goal would not come.
That means that Morocco will face either England or France in the semi-finals on Wednesday, with their opponent to be determined on Saturday evening.
Morocco have without doubt been the big surprise package of this World Cup, having topped their group ahead of Croatia and Belgium and knocked out Spain and Portugal, sides that had recorded 7-0 and 6-1 wins earlier in the tournament.