Morocco 1-0 Portugal: Atlas Lions make World Cup history with upset to seal England or France semi-final tie


orocco made history as the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals after another stunning win over Portugal in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions have surpassed the efforts of Cameroon in Italia 90, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 thanks to a header before the break by Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri at the Al Thumama stadium, punishing an erratic goal by Diogo Costa to notch. which turned out to be the winning goal.

Morocco will play either England or France in a historic quarter-final clash at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday night after their incredible penalty shoot-out loss to Spain in the round of 16 with another significant upset, despite the sending off late substitute Walid. He cheddira for two yellow card offenses in the space of 60 seconds into second half stoppage time.

It’s a punishment World Cup elimination for Portugal, who once again left the talisman behind. Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench after his high-profile drop for a 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland, his early introduction in the second half was not enough to turn the tide as he equaled the men’s international record with his 196th senior cap.

Only Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa has represented his country as many times as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, whose international future is now subject to doubt.

Ronaldo was left in tears at the whistle of regulation time as the Morocco players jubilantly celebrated in front of what appeared to be a home crowd, knowing it was surely their last chance for World Cup glory.

The former Manchester United star will be 41 when the next tournament comes around the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026.

Portugal certainly wasn’t without its chances of reaching a third World Cup semi-final, with Bruno Fernandes coming the closest with a Marco van Basten-esque effort on the stroke of half time that bounced off the crossbar.

Joao Félix also had chances, while Portugal saw several penalties overturned by Argentine referee Facundo Tello.

As Portugal hunted for that elusive late equalizer, Ronaldo fired a tame shot straight at goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, while Pepe somehow shot wide to the far post with an open goal. .

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