Morocco hMorocco ave become Morocco target=”_blank”>Morocco the primary African state Morocco Morocco to attain the World Cup semi-finals as Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half of purpose sealed a irritating 1-zero victory over Portugal on Saturday at Al Thumama Stadium.
The Atlas Lions, also the primary Arab crew to make the remaining 4, added Portugal to their list of European scalps with a resolute 2d-1/2 overMorocco all performance.
Cristiano Ronaldo has probable played his final World Cup fit after making an ineffectual appearance as a second-half of Morocco substitute, failing to attain his first knockout-segment goal at the tournament.
Morocco took a 42nd-minute lead through En-Nesyri’s header as they got here on strongly late inside the first length.
Portugal piled on the stress after the damage however an injury-hit Morocco, with out three of their 4 first-choice defenders Morocco once skipper Romain Saiss became compelled off, held on in spite of being reduced to 10 men in added time.
The partisan crowd surely helped the North Africans over the road, even though Portugal struggled to create many uncomplicated possibilities as they lost a World Cup sector-very last for the first time.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo become despatched on early within the second half of by instruct Fernando Santos however could not rescue the Euro 2016 winners.
Instead it became any other well-known day for Morocco, after previous dissatisfied wins over Belgium and Spain, on consequences, in Qatar.
Walid Regragui’s men will face England or holders France inside the semi-finals at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday.
Morocco will agree with they could topple either of those sides, having nevertheless simplest conceded as soon as at this World Cup.
Portugal Morocco enjoyed the majority of possession in the commencing 1/2-hour, however Joao Felix’s fifth-minute diving header, saved through goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, become the closest both aspect got here to an early goal.
Morocco continually appeared dangerous, although, and Selim Amallah ballooned a shot over and Sofiane Boufal curled immediately at Diogo Costa for the Africans.- En-Nesyri moves –
It became no surprise when Morocco did forge beforehand shortly earlier than the interval.
Portuguese goalkeeper Costa got here for a go from left-returned Yahya Attiat-Allah he was by no means going to get to and Sevilla striker En-Nesyri did the rest with a towering header.
Portugal almost equalised seconds later in mind-blowing fashion whilst Bruno Fernandes crashed a bouncing ball from the proper-hand aspect of the container in opposition to the crossbar.
A loopy few minutes before half of-time also noticed Attiat-Allah, handiest gambling in vicinity of the Morocco injured Noussair Mazraoui, blaze wide after any other fast counter.
Portugal’s players were nonetheless attractive for a penalty after Fernandes threw himself to the floor underneath stress from Achraf Hakimi at the opposite cease.
Morocco almost doubled their gain four minutes after the restart as Costa pretty much controlled to save you Hakim Ziyech’s unfastened-kick from the right from flying all the way in.
Santos wasted little time in summoning for his captain, sending on Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo within the 51st minute.
Morocco, already without injured defenders Mazraoui and Nayef Aguerd, have been dealt every other blow when Saiss changed into stretchered off.
Portugal started out to lay siege to the Morocco competition intention and Fernandes got here close to levelling once more when he fired narrowly over from the threshold of the field.
Morocco have been largely preserving Portugal at bay, however Bounou needed to be at his great to tip over Felix’s drive with 8 mins final.
Eight mins of injury time had been largely spent with Portugal camped in the Morocco half and Ronaldo almost had his second whilst his low strike turned into kept out with the aid of Bounou.
Morocco substitute Walid Cheddira was harshly despatched off for a 2d yellow card inside the space of two mins.
Zakaria Aboukhlal need to have put the sport to mattress handiest to dink directly at Costa when smooth through.
But his team by some means held onto their result in write their names inside the history books as Pepe headed huge from near range proper at the dying.
The complete Arab global is with Morocco tonight? Will that be the distinction-maker towards Portugal?
Good evening! A large region-final is in prospect this night as Morocco one of the wonder packages of the tournament take on Portugal. Join me for all the build-up, group news and commentary from this crunch recreation at Al Thumama Stadium.