Morocco Make Football History as 1st African Nation to Reach FIFA World Cup Semi-Final
Morocco Make Football History as 1st African Nation to Reach FIFA World Cup Semi-Final. Photo: FIFA World Cup

DOHA (Reuters) – Morocco wrote World Cup history on Saturday night as the first African and Arab country to reach the tournament’s semi-finals, continuing their surprise run in Qatar with a shock 1-0 victory over the highly fancied Portugal. By Mark Gleeson.

FIFA said: “A moment in time, A moment in history. The FIRST-EVER African nation to reach a #FIFAWorldCup Semi-Finals ??❤️“

Youssef En-Nesyri leapt high in the air to head home the game’s only goal just before half-time at the Al-Thumama Stadium to strike a significant blow against football’s established order and book a semi-final on Wednesday against either England or France, who meet later on Saturday.

The result will be widely celebrated across Africa and the Arabic-speaking Middle East, desperate to see one of their teams in contention for the biggest prize in football.

Morocco had already taken the scalps of Belgium and Spain in this tournament but the win over Portugal is of much greater significance.

It was also one of Morocco’s better performances in Qatar, full of determined defending and canny counters, keeping at bay a collection of world stars despite losing key defender Nayef Aguerd to injury before the match and his back four partner and captain Romain Saiss early in the second half.


If you’re in South Africa, watch tonight’s match and the rest of the FIFA World Cup on Showmax Pro.