By Sean Walsh
Oh. Oh. Oh.
They did. Atlas Lions continue to march: Morocco are the first African team in history to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, beating Portugal 1-0.
Much of the attention ahead of Saturday’s quarter-finals was on their opponents, and in particular the recall of Cristiano Ronaldo to the starting lineup.
He was not.
Portugal took the lion’s share of ball possession in the first few exchanges, but Morocco looked dangerous on the counterattack. Just before the break, Youssef En-Nesyri leapt past Ruben Dias and Diogo Costa to score the opener.
Bruno Fernandes was then the star of the next few minutes, hitting the bar with a half-volley, coming down easily to try to win a penalty, and being criticized by Nigel de Jong in the ITV studio.
Fernando Santos opted to bring in Ronaldo just after the break, but it would have been a futile effort. However, he was not the most effective replacement: that honor goes to Walid Cheddira, who missed several attacks with Morocco and was expelled.
But in the end it didn’t matter: Morocco held on for eight minutes of added time and reached their first semi-final.
But is this the end of the road for Ronaldo? Was this his last chance to win the World Cup? He left the field in tears.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Twitter reacts as Morocco stun Portugal to advance to the World Cup semi-finals.
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