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Morocco Celebrates Their 1-0 Win Against Portugal and Qualifies for Semifinals
- Updated: December 11, 2022
Even before the game, the festivities had started. The supporters’ confidence that they will get through this night pain-free was exhausting. They turned up the volume to ear-splitting levels, like wearing two amplified loudspeakers.
The stadium changed into a vibrant red arena. It appeared that this was Tangier or Rabat. After 8 torturous minutes of pause, they celebrated as if it is a Music Festival until the final whistle finally blew.
With a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday, Morocco continued their unbeaten streak at the World Cup, becoming the first ever African nation to advance to the semi-finals due to a spectacular strike from Youssef En-Nesyri.
Following his hat-trick against Switzerland in the Round of 16, Portugal opened the game with Goncalo Ramos in the starting lineup and Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.
Morocco defeated Portugal 1-0 in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinal thanks to a spectacular header from En-Nesyri late in the first half.
Morocco took the lead in the 42nd minute when En-Nesyri, who had previously twice headed over the crossbar for Portugal, jumped higher than both goalkeeper Diogo Costa and defender Ruben Dias.
In the end, it had little impact because Ronaldo blew his one decent chance to alter the game later. Rafael Leao was the real burst of attacking flair, but he arrived too late to affect the final score.
In the meantime, Moroccan midfielders Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ounahi were instrumental in the game’s outcome, and backup defender Yahia Attiyat Allah also made a significant contribution.
The African country’s shape and organization remained unaffected even though Morocco’s captain suffered an injury in the second half and substitute Cheddira was dismissed in stoppage time.
Yassine Bounou, the goalie, was also outstanding, making a number of tremendous stops to preserve the clean sheet. He secured qualifying and ensuring that they will play against France in the semifinals.