Qatar World Cup 2022 Day 21: Morocco make semi-finals with 1-0 win over Portugal

Qatar World Cup 2022 Day 21: Morocco make semi-finals with 1-0 win over Portugal
With a 1-0 win over Portugal, Morocco have made history as the first African or Arab team to make the semi-finals of the World Cup.
3 min read
10 December, 2022
[The New Arab]

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First Belgium, then Spain, now Portugal - Morocco's giant-killing spree continues.

The Atlas Lions are through to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, the first African or Arab team to do so in the tournament's history.

A 42nd-minute goal from Youssef En-Naysri was enough to seal victory for the North African team and solidify their place as football legends.

Later today, England take on 2018 winners France for the last remaining place in the semi-finals. The victor of that match will take on Morocco on Wednesday.

5:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

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4:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

Full-time: Morocco 1-0 Portugal

They've done it! Morocco have become the first African or Arab nation to make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

4:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

Red card for Morocco's Walid Cheddira

Morocco are down a man with five minutes of injury time to ride through, after Cheddira picks up two yellow cards in as many minutes.

3:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Half-time: Morocco 1-0 Portugal 

Youssef En-Neysri is the man of the moment after his header granted Morocco the lead at the tail end of the first half. Dare we dream of a Moroccan victory?

En-Neysri's goal put Morocco ahead of Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium [Anadolu via Getty]
3:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

Morocco 1-0 Portugal

After applying a sustained spell of pressure on the Portuguese, Youssef En-Neysri puts Morocco ahead in the 42nd minute.

2:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lineups: Portugal vs Morocco

The lineups for the Morocco vs Portugal clash have been announced. 

Amrabat and Saiss, Morocco's heroes against Spain, will start the match. 

On the other side, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo has again been left on the bench. 

Morocco lineup: Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, El Yamiq, Amrabat, Attiat Allah, Saiss, Hakim Ziyech, Ounahi, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri

🚨تشكيلة المنتخب الوطني أمام منتخب البرتغال

Quarter-final’s Line-up to face Portugal 🇵🇹#DimaMaghrib 🇲🇦 #TeamMorocco #FIFAWorldCup @pumafootball

— Équipe du Maroc (@EnMaroc) December 10, 2022

Portugal lineup: Costa, Diego Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Otavio, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos

1:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Only an hour to go before kickoff!

Morocco is the first Arab country and fourth African country to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup - following  Ghana (2010), Senegal (2002) and Cameroon (1990).

They have played Portugal twice in the past, with each side registering a win.

11:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Morocco's World Cup success inspires a nation to dream

Can Morocco dream of World Cup glory? And what impact will the team's success have on the footballing prospects of the region as a whole?

Read sports commentator John Duerden's piece on what the Atlas Lions' World Cup run means to Morocco and the Middle East and North Africa region:

Live Story


9:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Whole of Africa behind Morocco at World Cup: Regragui

Morocco will have the backing of an entire continent when they attempt to become Africa's first World Cup semi-finalists by beating Portugal on Saturday, said coach Walid Regragui.

"We want to show that Africa deserves to be here, Morocco deserves to be here," Regragui said on the eve of the match.

"We have a whole people behind us, a continent behind us and the Arab world behind us. That's a lot of energy behind us."

Morocco have the best defensive record in the tournament, having conceded only one goal in their four matches.

But Regragui warned: "We can't rest on our laurels. We haven't got carried away, we've just surprised a few people and a few algorithms who expected Belgium or Spain to be in the quarter-finals."

Regragui has been praised for his managerial performance this tournament [AFP via Getty]