Morocco the first African team ever
Morocco became the first African team to reach a World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday, making history. Morocco defeat Portugal 1-0 to extend their impressive record in Qatar.
Youssef En-Nesyri was able to get his head on the ball and direct it into the net to score the game’s lone goal just before halftime, keeping Morocco’s defence clean once more.
Thanks to their performance in the group stage, when they tie fellow quarterfinalist Croatia, as well as their victories against Belgium, Spain, and now Portugal on their road to the semifinals, the Atlas Lions have establish themselves as one of the most impressive teams in the championship.
Walid Regragui, the team manager, remark prior to the quarterfinal: “Before, it was just the Moroccans who back us, but now it is the Africans and Arabs as well.” He was making reference to the thrilling environment that has surround every game his squad has play in.
And on Saturday, the Al Thumama Stadium was pack with ecstatic supporters cheering on their team as they made history, making it seem like almost the whole continent and region was in attendance.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to get past the Moroccan defence, and as he left the field after the game, he start crying. With Portugal’s defeat, Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup career certainly came to an end.
the Atlas Lions
While all of this was going on, the Atlas Lions, who have come to symbolise themselves, celebrate their victory by hoisting Regragui into the air.
Ronaldo score the game’s lone goal as these two sides square off for the final time at the World Cup in 2018. Ronaldo start the match from the sidelines once more, making it two games in a row.
Both sides got off to a strong start, with Portugal having the most of the early possession but failing to get past a well-drill Moroccan defence that has only allow one goal thus far in Qatar 2022.
The only significant Portuguese threats
In the first half came from Joo Félix’s two shots, the first of which was a powerful and accurate header that force goalkeeper Yassine “Bono” Bounou to react and the second of which was a shot that was deflect off two defenders, ricochet erratically, but ultimately fell into the net.
Instead, Morocco score a goal three minutes before halftime. Yahia Attiyat-Allah skillfully float the ball into the area, and En-Nesyri leapt over goalie Diogo Costa and Rben Dias to head the ball into the goal.
After the break, Ronaldo enter the match for his 196th national team appearance, becoming him the joint-most cap player in the game’s history.
However, despite his best efforts, a resolute Moroccan defence kept Portugal at bay outside the box for the majority of the second half, preventing him from totally controlling the game.
Bounou rebuff all attempts that manage to get beyond the first line of defence. Bruno Fernandes’ powerful shot was intercept by him, and a second later, he use his outstretch hand to deflect Felix’s attempt over the crossbar.
Ronaldo also had an opportunity
Ronaldo also had an opportunity to level the game as the eight minutes of stoppage time began, but Bounou once more denied his low attempt. Extra time was used in the game.
As the game’s closing minutes drew near, the anxiety on the sidelines grew. Players, coaches, and support personnel from both teams could be seen frantically pacing.
After receiving two yellow cards in rapid succession. Walid Cheddira was hand a red card, forcing his side to play the last six minutes of the game with just 10 men in order to hold onto its slim advantage.
Zakaria Aboukhlal was able to escape during the counterattack and only had to go around Costa to give Morocco the win. Pepe’s header for Portugal directly in front of goal narrowly miss the target in the interim.