Sunday, December 11, 2022
Portugal's ouster from the FIFA World Cup 2022 after losing against the lowest-ranked Moroccan team in the tournament left the netizens dejected.
Morocco wrote World Cup history as the first African and Arab country to reach the tournament’s semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday night.
Fans and followers shared football legend Cristiano Ronaldo's pictures, speaking in his support as this was his last World Cup. The 37-year-old couldn't control his tears after the final whistle and stormed off the pitch.
Take a look at what the users have to say:
Youssef En-Nesyri leapt high in the air to head home the game’s only goal just before half-time at the Al-Thumama Stadium to strike a significant blow against football’s established order and book a semi-final on Wednesday against either England or France, who meet later on Saturday.
It was also one of Morocco's better performances in Qatar, full of determined defending and canny counters, keeping at bay a collection of world stars despite losing key defender Nayef Aguerd to injury before the match and his back four partners and captain Romain Saiss early in the second half.
Morocco, again noisily encouraged by the majority of the 44,198-strong crowd, and immediately went into defensive mode as Portugal attacked from the outset.
A fourth-minute free kick for Portugal from wide on the right was swung into the penalty area, and met by Joao Felix’s diving header, producing a fine save from Yassine Bounou.
But the supply quickly dried up thereafter as Morocco closed the passing lanes and frustrated the Portuguese attackers.
Joao Felix had two more half chances in the first half but Morocco gained in confidence and found a sudden spring in their step, frequently breaking on the counterattack.
Left-back Yahya Attiat-Allah made several surging runs down the flank, presenting Selim Amallah with a good chance in the 35th minute, which he was unable to convert.
But seven minutes later, a high ball from the fullback into the Portuguese box was met by a towering header from En-Nesyri, outjumping both goalkeepers Diogo Costa and defender Ruben Dias to hand Morocco the lead.
Portuguese frustration was evident as they swarmed the Argentine referee Facundo Tello at the end of the first half, complaining that several penalty appeals had been turned down.
Morocco came close to a second goal four minutes into the second half as Jawad El Yamiq got a touch to Hakim Ziyech’s in-swinging free kick but Costa was in place this time to block.
Ronaldo’s entry in the 51st minute was met with a loud chorus of jeers, but he did inject new energy into the Portugal side for whom Goncalo Ramos, the hat-trick hero of their 6-1 win over Switzerland in the previous round, missed with a close-in header in the 58th minute.
Bruno Fernandes hit over the top of the crossbar five minutes later as Portugal threw more into attack and Morocco began to sit deeper. Bounou saved again from Joao Felix with seven minutes left.
Morocco's Walid Cheddira was sent off in stoppage time after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.
But his side, to the delight of their raucous support, held out for a famous victory.