The Atlas Lions of Morocco have beaten Portugal one_nil, to reach the semi finals of the 2023 FIFA World cup.
Youssef En_Nesyri’s first half goal was enough to take Morocco to the semis, the first ever for any African country.
Portugal came into the game as favorites after dumping out Switzerland 6#1 in the round of 16, but obviously Morocco was not an opponent to underestimate, after they stun 2010 winners Spain in their previous game.
Portugal enjoyed much of the ball possession in the opening half and hour, but Romain Saïss and his teammates stayed solid at the back, and fancied counterattacks.
With just three minutes of regulation time left to play for the first half (42), FC Seville’s Youssef En_Nesyri connected beautifully to Yahia Attiyat Allah’s cross, to notch in pass goalkeeper Diogo Costa, as Morocco took a one goal lead for the break.
Morocco’s captain Romain Saïss was subbed off earlier in the second half for Achraf Dari, with Selim Amallah, Youssef En_Nesyri, Hakim Ziyech and Sofiane Boufal, later on ceding their places to Walid Cheddira, Badr Benoun, Zakaria Akbouhal, and Yahya Jabrane.
For Portugal, Coach Fernando Santos throw in experienced forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Cancelo, Vitinho, Rafael Leao and Ricardo Horta, but all their efforts were thwarted by goalkeeper Yasin Bono and co.
Walid Regragui’s side was reduced to 10_men following Walid Cheddira’s red card in added time, but the Atlas Lions claimed the win and became the first African country to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World. Previously, Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana’s reaching the quarter finals, were the best record for any African team.
Morocco have now played close to eight hours of football at the 2022 World Cup and no opposition player has scored against them. The only goal they have conceded in this competition, was an own goal in the group stage against Canada.
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