Furious Ronaldo Storms Off Pitch As Morocco Beat Portugal to Become The First African Team in World Cup Semifinals


    Furious Cristiano Ronaldo stormed off the pitch as Morocco becomes the first African team in the semifinals of the World Cup after defeating Portugal 1-0.


    It was another fever-pitched 2022 World Cup quarterfinal after Croatia and Argentina made it through at the expense of Brazil and the Netherlands, respectively.

    Ahead of the quarterfinal clash, Morocco was seen as a side on the brink of making history as the first African team to make it to the semifinals. After Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana failed in 1990, 2002, and 2010 respectively. While the odds did not favor the North Africans, they were definitely a threat after seeing off the 2010 champions, Spain, in a tense round of 16 clash.

    Meanwhile, they have proved their quality after leading a group featuring 2018 World Cup heavyweights – Croatia and Belgium.

    Portugal was still a potent threat even with Morocco’s intimidating stats in the tournament so far. They were the biggest winners in the round of 16, putting six past the Swiss team, with 21-year-old Benfica forward bagging a hat-trick.


    Also, the odds have not favor the Africans, when meeting the Europeans at the World Cup knockouts. It has been 11 meetings between both sides, with the Europeans winning it 9 times, while Africans won two. Morocco’s penalty shootout win over Spain is included in the stats.

    But can they repeat it to become the first African country to knock out two European teams in World Cup knockouts? That was the question in the mind of most football lovers ahead of the quarterfinal clash between Morocco and Portugal.

    Meanwhile, the match was their third meeting at the World Cup, with a win apiece. However, the las two meetings was not in the knockout.

    Starting Lineup

    Morocco made two changes to the team. Aguerd and Mazrouai were injured and did not make the starting lineup. Yamit and Allah were brought on in their places.

    Portugal maintained the same starting lineup that won the game against Switzerland, save only one change – Neves coming in for Carvalho. Ronaldo was benched as Goncalo Ramos retained his position after a superior performance against Switzerland.

    Morocco: Yassine Bounou; Achraf Hakimi, Jawad El Yamiq, Romain Saiss, Yahia Attiyat-Allah; Selim Amallah, Sofyan Amrabat, Azz-Eddine Ounahi; Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal.

    Portugal: Diogo Costa; Diogo Dalot, Ruben Dias, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro; Otavio, Ruben Neves, Bernardo Silva; Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Ramos, Joao Felix.

    Fans from both sides were set for the thrilling encounter at the Al Thumama Stadium as the center referee blew for the kick off.

    Nice play from start. Both teams played with a lot of respect for each other, but Bouno who saved three penalties against Spain, had to face early goal threats from Joao Felix.

    Morocco missed a glaring chance on the 7th minute. Hakim Ziyech had sent a great cross for En-Nesyri who mistimed it, his header went far above the cross bar.

    Portugal knew what was at stake going against the Moroccans. So far in the tournament, they have not conceded a goal with a good and coordinated backline. Goncalo Ramos had a tough time battling with the four-man defence.

    Hakimi was perfect at the right-back position, giving Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandez a tough time.

    Interestingly, En-Nesyri gave Morocco the lead in the 42nd minute and made the game tougher for the European team.

    Afterward, Portugal desperately looked for an equaliser. It was an incredibly difficult game for the Moroccans. All 10 players of the African side returned to the box to defend, as they searched for that historic African World Cup semi-final appearance.

    Frequently breaking into the wings, Portugal brought in the likes of Leao and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal wings were lethal and smarter than the Moroccan wing backs.


    Perfectly dominating the wings and getting the crosses into the box, Dos Santos needed to do more to get his center forward to deliver the job.

    Morocco still held on and won the game 1-0 after the final whistle to become the first African team to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup.

    Ronaldo was spotted furiously heading to tunnel after the loss.

    As it stands, Morocco will play against either England or France in the Semi-final of the tournament on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. The match will kick off at 20:00.


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