Moroccan team takes Palestine to the World Cup quarter finals

Moroccan team takes Palestine to the World Cup quarter finals
The Atlas Lions - and Moroccan supporters - have shown their support for Palestine in every game they've played.
2 min read
07 December, 2022
Morocco's surprise win over Spain has delighted Arab football fans worldwide [Getty images]

Palestine was once again central to Moroccan celebrations as the last Arab team competing in Qatar notched up a famous win against Spain in a dramatic penalty shootout on Tuesday evening. 

Players and coaching staff took a lap of honour draped in Palestinian flags, laying them out on the turf alongside the Moroccan flag to huge cheers from the packed stadium in al-Rayyan. 

With a perfectly executed game plan, Morocco contained the Spanish attacks and hit back on the counter, creating clear cut chances to keep fans worldwide on the edge of their seats. 

Goalkeeping hero Bono, who saved all three Spanish attempts in the penalty shootout after extra time, was among those to pose with the Palestinian flag at the Education City stadium.

In prior matches, both fans and players have chanted in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and unfurled banners in the stands. 

The Atlas Lions are now the first Arab team to make it through to the quarter finals in the history of the competition - sparking celebrations across North Africa and beyond. 

From Ladbroke Grove in London to the Champs Elysées in Paris, Moroccan fans across Europe celebrated their team’s remarkable victory on the streets on Tuesday evening after they knocked out their heavyweight Spanish oppoonents. 

Former Moroccan stars have also heaped praise on the new generation of talent - both before and after yesterday’s win. 

“The team did not only honour their country, but also represented the Arab region and Africans who supported them,” said former striker Yousef Hajji to the New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

“It really feels like this wonderful generation can conquer the impossible.”

Next up, Morocco face another neighbour across the Mediterranean, Portugal, in the quarter finals.

“After this victory, the team just have to go out there to play and enjoy themselves,” said Hajji.