Morocco made history by beating Portugal 1-0 in their World Cup quarter-final tie today.
Both sides had early chances to break the deadlock. Joao Felix saw his header turned wide, and Youssef En-Nesyri missed the target with his header from a corner.
There continued to be opportunities at both ends, although nothing was particularly clear-cut. Felix came close again with a shot from outside the box that deflected narrowly over the bar.
The scoring was opened in the first half, and it was Morocco who took the lead. Yahya Attiah-Allah swung in a cross, and En-Nesyri beat Diogo Costa to the ball and headed into an empty net.
Moments later, Portugal almost grabbed an equaliser. Bruno Fernandes picked up the ball out on the right and struck a dipping half-volley against the crossbar from a tight angle.
The Atlas Lions came within inches of doubling their lead early in the second half. Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick was palmed by Ramos onto Jawad El Yamiq and bounced just wide of the post.
Down the other end, Portugal pushed for a leveller. Goncalo Ramos headed wide from Otavio’s cross, and Fernandes fired a powerful shot just over the crossbar.
With under ten minutes remaining, Bounou had to be at his best to keep his clean sheet intact. Cristiano Ronaldo laid the ball off for Felix, whose effort was heading for the top corner before the goalkeeper turned it over the bar.
Not long afterwards, Bounou was again the hero. Fernandes fed Ronaldo, but his shot was kept out at the near post.
Morocco were defending for their lives, and their task got tougher when Walid Cheddira was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Felix.
Despite this, they had a glorious chance to add a second when Zakaria Aboukhlal went through on goal. However, his attempted chip was weak and comfortably saved by Costa.
In the dying seconds, Portugal had one last chance to save their World Cup campaign. Rafael Leao picked out Pepe at the back post with a cross, but the defender could only head wide when he ought to have scored. The full-time whistle went shortly afterwards.
Morocco progressed to the semi-finals, becoming the first-ever African nation to reach the final four. They will face France or England on Wednesday.
Yassine Bounou (8/10) – Made three vital saves to maintain his clean sheet.
Achraf Hakimi (8/10) – Defended well against Felix and Leao. Showed some attacking threat with a couple of darting runs forward.
Jawad El Yamiq (8/10) – Held firm under relentless pressure. Hardly let anything past him.
Romain Saiss (7/10) – Kept the Portuguese frontline at bay during his 55 minutes on the pitch. Substituted with an injury.
Yahya Attiat-Allah (8/10) – Rock-solid defensively, and assisted the winning goal.
Sofyan Amrabat (8/10) – Combative as ever in midfield. Helped relieve the pressure on the backline with some calm play on the ball.
Azzedine Ounahi (8/10) *MOTM* – The standout during the game. Ran loads and hardly gave the ball away.
Selim Amallah (7/10) – Worked hard, battled, and showed some of his quality on the ball. Substituted in the second half.
Hakim Ziyech (7/10) – Good on the ball and swung in a couple of dangerous set pieces.
Youssef En-Nesyri (8/10) – Produced a brilliant leap for his goal. Caused loads of problems for Dias and Pepe before being substituted.
Sofiane Boufal (7/10) – Displayed his talent with some fine footwork and mazy dribbling runs.
Achraf Dari (7/10)
Walid Cheddira (4/10)
Badr Benoun (6/10)
Yahya Jabrane (6/10)
Zakaria Aboukhlal (5/10)
Diogo Costa (4/10) – Made an error for the winning goal. Rarely tested otherwise.
Diogo Dalot (5/10) – Given some problems by Boufal. Got forward on plenty of occasions but final ball was disappointing.
Ruben Dias (5/10) – Struggled to deal with En-Nesyri. Arguably could have done better for the goal.
Pepe (6/10) – Defended well enough. Squandered a golden chance at the end.
Raphael Guerreiro (5/10) – Defended well enough, but offered very little going forward. Substituted early in the second half.
Ruben Neves (5/10) – Didn’t have much of an impact on the game. Substituted early in the second half.
Otavio (6/10) – Had a few nice touches without being too involved. Created one chance for Ramos in the second half.
Bernardo Silva (6/10) – Good on the ball as always, but wasn’t incisive enough in the final third.
Bruno Fernandes (6/10) – Often looked like the one who was going to create something for Portugal. End product could have been better in the second half.
Goncalo Ramos (5/10) – Kept fairly quiet by Morocco’s centre-backs. Missed a chance in the second half.
Joao Felix (7/10) – Involved in most of what Portugal created. Unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions.
Cristiano Ronaldo (5/10)
Joao Cancelo (5/10)
Rafael Leao (6/10)
Ricardo Horta (5/10)
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