Morocco became the first African team to reach a World Cup semi-final with a 1-0 triumph in Qatar over Portugal, which once again started without its star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri headed the historic goal in the 42nd minute when he beat Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa from Yahya Attiat-Allah’s cross.
Ronaldo came on in the 51st for his 196th cap, equaling the world record set by Saudi Arabia’s Badr al-Mutawa, but was unable to force a breakthrough for Portugal, whose Bruno Fernandes was denied off the crossbar before the ‘interval. Morocco also held on after their substitute Walid Cheddira was sent off for a second bookable offense early into eight minutes of added time.
The Atlas Lions ended Africa’s quarter-final misfortune at their fourth attempt, after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 had all exited in the quarter-finals. They will then face title holders France or Euro 2020 runners-up England, who will complete the quarter-finals.
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