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Morocco first African team to reach the semi-final

Morocco defeated Portugal 1-0 in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals thanks to Youssef En-Nesyri’s spectacular header in the 42nd minute.

After the winning header ( Photo: Getty Images)

En-Nesyri scored on an error by Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa for a momentous goal that established the African continent’s place in football history.

Fernando Santos’ refusal to play Cristiano Ronaldo from the start may have contributed to Portugal’s defeat. Ronaldo entered the game in the 51st minute, but it was too late. This is Ronaldo’s 196th international appearance. This is  the 37-year-old’s last World Cup tournament. Ronaldo has not been signed up for any clubs as well. The game ended with a tearing Ronaldo.

Morocco’s defence was the World Cup’s surprise package this year. Despite losing two of its defenders, Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui, before the game, and substitute Walid Cheddira being sent off for two offences, the North Africans produced another extraordinary defensive masterpiece to defeat one of the competition’s most formidable teams.

Morocco now enters the semi-final.

Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Auckland.

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