Morocco has made history as the first African team to ever reach the world cup semifinals in the Fifa World Cup competition. Walid Regraguis’ men have come up against one of thee best teams to accomplish such an outstanding performance in this competition. Morocco’s squad include the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi and their ever dependable captain Roman Saiss.
In the group stages, they were placed alongside Croatia, Belgium and Canada. The odds of them progressing to the round off 16 were pretty much slim for the Atlas Lions. They ended up toping the Group F after drawing against Croatia, beating Belgium (2-0) and Canada (2-1). They amassed seven points and progessed to the knockouts alongside Croatia who came in second with five points. In the round off 16, they faced Spain. The game went on to the extra time and into the penalties where they knocked out Spain after converting three of their penalties while their opponents failed to convert any. For Spain, Sarabia hit the post while the rest by Soler and Busquets were saved by the Moroccan maestro goal keeper, Yasinne Bounou. Depite Badr Banoune missing his penalty , Abdelhamid Sabiri, Ziyech and then the perfect of them all, Hakimi buried their spot kick with a “Panenka” to book their place in the quarter final.
In the fifth match, Morocco came up with yet another outstanding performance against the Spanish and won the game. This was after Youssef En-Nesyris’ headed the ball home in the 44th minute after a error decision from Portugal’s goal keeper Costa who came out from his goal post in a bid to clear a crossed ball into the dangerous area and collided with Dias his own defender. Portugal had some clear cut chances but failed to convert them. The game ended 1-0 thus Morocco knocked out the Euros 2016 winners. Through out their campaign, Moroccan have only conceded one goal. An own goal! This shows how strong and resilient this team has been, most notably their defence. The have maintained their structure and played on the counter.
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