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Morocco beat Portugal to become first African nation in World Cup semis

Morocco beat Portugal to become first African nation in World Cup semis Morocco beat Portugal to become first African nation in World Cup semis
Morocco beat Portugal to become first African nation in World Cup semis Photo credit: Pooja Media

Morocco scored a first-half winner to upstage Portugal 1-0 in their quarter-final encounter at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday.

The North Africans scored the only goal of the encounter through Youssef En-Nesyri’s header, with the striker netting his second goal of Qatar 2022 and third World Cup goal overall.

Portugal had the better chances in the early exchanges with Joao Felix seeing a flying header saved before having a shot deflected agonizingly wide of the top corner.

Morocco settled in thereafter and kept grafting towards attack before taking the lead minutes before half-time through En-Neyseri.

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The 25-year-old Sevilla striker headed into an empty from a cross that Portugal’s goalkeeper erroneously came out to claim.

Portugal nearly provided the perfect response but Bruno Fernandes’ volley from the edge of the area hit the crossbar as Morocco went in 1-0 at the break.

Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in early in the second half but found no way beyond this sturdy Morocco defence and their goalkeeper till the final whistle was blown.

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Morocco advanced into the semi-final stage for the first time in their World Cup history. They also become the first African nation to reach the last-four stage of the World Cup.

The Atlas Lions will square off with the winner of the tie between England and France on Wednesday, December 14.

Photo credit: Pooja Media

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