Wow. It was 7.57pm in Qatar, just before 6pm in Casablanca, when Facundo Tello blew the final whistle, delivering a delirious signal for the men on the sideline to finally let loose and stream on to the pitch, and for those who were already there to collapse on to the floor. They had done it, these Atlas Lions. Legends now, the roar tore right through everyone here and way, way beyond. History is made and it is made of this. Morocco are the first African team to make it to a World Cup semi-final.
Walid Regragui’s team have faced Belgium, Croatia, Spain and now Portugal, but they are made of granite. None could tumble them, the task before France now. In eight and a half hours of football – plus three penalties in a shootout – no opposition player has scored against them: the only time they conceded they scored it themselves, a freak own goal against Canada. Here, Portugal fielded the forward who scored a hat-trick against Switzerland and then asked Cristiano Ronaldo to rescue them from the bench, to no avail. Ronaldo disappeared down the tunnel in tears. This may be his last match.
Written by Sid Lowe at Al Thumama Stadium
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/dec/10/morocco-portugal-world-cup-quarter-final-match-report under the title “Morocco book historic World Cup semi-final place as En-Nesyri stuns Portugal”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.