Doha, Gatra.com- Morocco made history by becoming the first African and Arab country to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup. The Atlas lions pounced on Portugal 1-0. Their victory on Saturday 10/12 at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha was celebrated across the Arab world, hosting the tournament in Qatar, providing a family atmosphere for teams from the Middle East and North Africa in this World Cup.
Morocco followed surprise after surprise against Belgium, Croatia, Spain and Portugal. Never losing, Morocco have only conceded once – an own goal against Canada.
Morocco started their work at the World Cup, Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Being in Group F, Morocco will face Croatia at Al Bayt Stadium. A point for Morocco after a 0-0 draw.
This result comes as a surprise as Croatia are runners-up at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Croatia started the World Cup badly with a 0-0 draw against Morocco. Croatia lack the attack of the team that reached the final in Russia four years ago.
On Sunday November 27, Morocco beat Belgium 2-0 at the Al Thumama stadium. A big step out of the group stage, with Morocco showing unwavering determination to hold Belgium for much of the game. They took the lead thanks to substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri’s free kick in the 73rd minute.
It is also a surprise because Belgium is ranked second in the world. Belgium continued to mount the pressure in search of a goal but Walid Reragui’s men defended solidly and doubled their lead at additional timethanks to a goal from Zakaria Aboukhlal.
The next victim was Canada, who were beaten by Morocco 2-1 at the Al Thumama stadium. Hakim Ziyech scored for Morocco in the fourth minute after a bad mistake by Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan allowed the winger to fire into an empty net. Youssef En Nesyri added a second in the 23rd minute, sparking wild celebrations among Moroccan fans who filled the Al Thumama stadium.
But Nayef Aguerd’s own goal just before half-time made it 2-1 and lifted Canada enough to put pressure on Morocco in search of an equalizer for much of the second. half time.
Morocco finished the group stage top of Group F
The Atlas Lion pounces on the Matador
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, Morocco again made history by excluding Spain from the big World Cup. Morocco won 3-0 on penalties at the Education City Stadium.
Morocco booked their place in the quarter-finals after a sensational penalty shoot-out victory over Spain, becoming the first Arab country to reach the last eight of the tournament.
Spanish-born superstar full-back Achraf Hakimi closed the Round of 16 game at the Education City stadium, scoring the winning goal from the spot and sending the tens of thousands of Moroccan fans in attendance cheering.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and captain Sergio Busquets missed penalties for Spain; Sarabia hit the post and Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stopped the other two.
Spain had enjoyed over 75 per cent possession in regulation time and extra time, completing a total of nearly 1,000 passes but managed just one shot on goal.
Make Christiano Ronaldo cry
On Saturday December 10, 2022, Morocco beat Portugal 1-0 at Al Thumama Stadium. Youssef En Nesyri’s 42nd-minute header was the difference for Reragui’s side, whose decisive defensive display capped a superb display in Qatar which has now seen them play more than seven hours of football without conceding a goal.
Big favorites Portugal, who had dominated the ball throughout the game, proved unable to open up their rivals’ back line despite all their possession and called top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo from the bench shortly after half-time. time. But Christiano Ronaldo had to cry and pick up the suitcase.
Morocco, whose superb form made the Arab world proud at the first World Cup held in the Middle East, will now face France in the semi-finals on December 14.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert.”