By Jude Summerfield
Morocco continued their historic run at this year’s World Cup by beating Portugal to reach the semi-finals.
A defensive mess allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to head in the only goal of Saturday’s game at Al Thumama Stadium, eliminating Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and company from the tournament.
The African team had previously beaten both Belgium and Canada to finish top of Group F, which was rewarded with a round of 16 draw with Spain.
They held La Roja to a goalless draw and gleefully watched as Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed in the shoot-out, allowing Panenka’s Achraf Hakimi in the winning goal.
That result made them only the fourth African team after Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) to reach the quarter-finals, but victory over Portugal makes the Atlas Lions the first team from the continent to reach the Cup of the World semifinals.
Here’s who will face Morocco after the historic victory.
Who will face Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup?
Morocco will now await the result of the latest quarter-final between England and France on Saturday night to get to know their opponents in the semi-finals.
The Three Lions worked their way into Group B with victories over Iran and Wales before beating Senegal 3-0 in the round of 16.
Les Bleus beat both Australia and Denmark in the group stage before a much changed XI lost to Tunisia. They then overwhelmed Poland thanks to a record-breaking goal from Olivier Giroud and a superb brace from Kylian Mbappé.
Who could face Morocco in the final?
The other semi-final involves Argentina and Croatia, meaning Morocco would face either of those teams in the final if they beat England or France.
Argentina blew a 2-0 lead in regular time while the Netherlands came from behind to take it to penalties. However, mistakes by Steven Berghuis and Virgil van Dijk allowed La Albiceleste to progress to the final four.
Croatia caused a huge shock in the quarterfinals. Neymar gave Brazil a 1-0 lead after extra time after a goalless 90 minutes, but Bruno Petkovic’s sensational equalizer took the match to penalties. Mistakes by Marquinhos and Rodrygo allowed Luka Modric and teammates to secure a 4-2 win.
If Morocco lose, they will face the other semi-finalists defeated in the third place play-off.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Who will face Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup?.
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