Morocco have become the first African team to make the World Cup semifinals in the tournament’s history following their 1-0 win over Portugal.
Youssef En-Nesyri rose highest in the first half to give the Atlas Lions the lead. His goal, the only goal of this quarterfinal matchup as Moroccos held firm despite countless Portugal pressure.
The African team’s incredible positional discipline was on display throughout the game. A defence that has only conceded just once in its previous eight games. The goal, an own goal in a win over Canada in the group stage.
Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench yet again but was introduced in the 51st minute to try and change his country’s fortunes. However, he could not inspire a comeback. His introduction meant he has now earned his 196th international cap for Portugal, equalling the world record.
Portugal came close in the second half as Bruno Fernandes hit the cross bar while Goncalo Ramos and Bernado Silva missed their chances. Morocco’s goalkeeper Bono had to keep his concentration as he made two late saves to keep out Joao Felix and Ronaldo and keep his country’s World Cup dream alive.
On their dream run to the semifinal, Morocco have now seen off Belgium, Spain and Portugal and conceded just one own goal in their five World Cup matches . Now, they await the winner of England and France’s blockbuster quarter-final.