Morocco makes WC Cup history, becomes first African country to qualify in semis

Morocco makes it into the Final Four of the 2022 World Cup. (Martin Meissner via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Ladies and gentlemen, Morocco became the first-ever African country to clinch a semifinal seat in the history of the World Cup after pulling off another stunning upset in the quarterfinals of the tournament last December 10, 2022.

Facing an experienced Portugal squad in hopes of continuing their Cinderella run, Morocco once again did the unthinkable and shocked the world after their 1-0 victory that set them up with a semifinal clash with France.

Morocco added Portugal to its list of casualties after taking down heavyweight nations in Belgium and Spain during the previous elimination rounds.

In yet another defensive masterpiece, the Moroccan squad continued its dominant streak defensively after holding Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal scoreless in the entire 90-minute showdown.

Despite Portugal having tons of attempts while dominating the ball possessions per minute, Morocco never went out of their game plan and stuck to their defensive strategy.

Aside from their signature defensive schemes, Morocco’s slick counterattacks caught Portugal off guard several times.

After a single clean attempt, Morocco’s first and only goal came just before the half was about to end courtesy of Youssef En-Nesyri header.

Morocco’s goal gave them the much-needed boosted confidence heading into the second half which prevented Portugal from finding the back of the net despite several attempts to break through the scoring column.

It was exactly the same defensive intensity that Morocco delivered in the next 45 minutes of the game as their backline defenders made it hard for Portugal to have any clean attempt.

During the last five minutes of the match and Portugal still finding that one goal that could equalize things, the Moroccans shut any open door and started to celebrate after clearing the attempts of Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, and Ronaldo.

It was another scintillating display of goalkeeping from superstar Yassine Bounou after successfully holding the line for the Moroccans.

With the huge win, Morocco will play in their first-ever World Cup semifinal against France while Croatia and Argentina will battle it out in the other bracket.