Wow. Wow. Wow.
They’ve performed it. The Atlas Lions maintain marching on – Morocco are the primary African staff in historical past to succeed in the semi-finals of the World Cup, beating Portugal 1-0.
A variety of the main target heading into Saturday’s quarter-final was on their opponents, and particularly whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo could be recalled to the beginning lineup.
He was not.
Portugal had the lion’s share of possession within the opening exchanges, however Morocco have been wanting harmful on the counter assault. Simply earlier than the half-time break, Youssef En-Nesyri leapt above Ruben Dias and Diogo Costa to go within the opener.
Bruno Fernandes was then the protagonist of the subsequent jiffy, hitting the crossbar with a half-volley, taking place simply attempting to win a penalty, and being criticised by Nigel de Jong within the ITV studio.
Fernando Santos determined to throw Ronaldo on simply after the interval, however it could show to be a fruitless effort. Nevertheless, he was not essentially the most negatively impactful substitute – that honour goes to Walid Cheddira, who screwed up a number of Morocco assaults and received himself despatched off.
However in the long run, it did not matter – Morocco clung on by way of eight minutes of stoppage time and reached their first semi-final.
However is that this the tip of the street for Ronaldo? Was this his final probability to win the World Cup? He left the pitch in floods of tears.