Morocco stun Portugal 1-0 to qualify for semifinals

Makes African history in Qatar World Cup


Morocco have become the first African country to qualify for the World Cup semifinal as they shocked Portugal with a 1-0 win, courtesy of a header by Youssef En-Nesyri.

En-Nesyri’s towering goal in the 42nd minute was enough in the quarterfinal duel as Morocco held stoutly despite Portugal’s dominance at Al Thumama Stadium.

It meant Walid Regragui’s side made history as they reached the final four of the competition, becoming the first African side to reach the semis.

Morocco shot in a shock lead in the 42nd minute when they capitalised on a goalkeeping mistake from Diogo Costa, with En-Nesyri heading home Yahia Attiyat-Allah’s cross as the Portugal keeper hesitated.

Ronaldo came on in the 51st minute for his 196th Portugal cap, but failed to make any marked impact.

Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou produced a fingertip save to turn a driving shot from Joao Felix over the bar in the 83rd minute and was also called upon to stop an effort from Ronaldo in stoppage time.

There were further late nerves for Morocco as substitute Walid Cheddira was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession while Pepe headed wide in the dying stages, but Regragui’s side held on for another memorable victory following their round-of-16 win against Spain.

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