Morocco beat Portugal 1-0, become first African nation to reach World Cup semifinals
Dec 12, 2022 - 12:49 AM
ANKARA (AA) – Morocco beat Portugal 1-0 and became the first African nation to reach FIFA World Cup semifinals in Qatar 2022 on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo was named on the bench for the match at the Al Thumama Stadium.
Portuguese attacker Joao Felix’s early attempt in the 5th minute was denied by Morocco goalie Bono, and just a minute later Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri’s header went over the bar.
En-Nesyri wasted another promising header in the 26th minute.
In the 31st minute, Felix’s almost lucky shot was deflected to corner by inches from the left top corner.
But En-Nesyri’s third header found the net and gave lead to Morocco in the 42nd minute.
Bruno Fernandes’ equalizing attempt returned from the crossbar in the 45th minute and the first half ended 1-0.
Hakim Ziyech’s long range freekick caused trouble in Portugal penalty area, but it missed the post by inches in the end in the 50th minute.
Ronaldo entered the game in the 51st minute to play his 196th match and equal Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa’s record for most international caps.
Portugal’s Gonzalo Ramos’ promising header was wasted in the 58th minute, while midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ long shot was inches over in the 64th minute.
Felix’s good shot tipped over well by Morocco keeper Bono in the 83rd minute.
Ronaldo could not pass Bono one-on-one in the 91st minute.
Morocco’s Walid Cheddira, who got in the game in the 65th minute, was then sent off with two yellow cards in three minutes.
Zakaria Aboukhlal of Morocco missed one-on-one with keeper Diogo Costa in the 96th minute.
Portuguese veteran defender Pepe missed a promising header in the 97th minute, and the game ended 1-0.
Morocco will take on the winner of England vs. France quarterfinal match, on Wednesday.