Today has been one of the biggest days in Africa’s footballing heritage as Morocco have created history by becoming the first-ever African nation to be into the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup. They were facing Portugal who are the Euro 2016 champions and are one of the best teams in the World.
But against the odds, they pulled off the impossible and successfully managed to defeat Cristiano Ronaldo’s side. Their fellow African sides Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal have come close to reaching the semis, but now it’s the Atlas Lions who have written their name in the history books.
Since the start of the match, it was obvious that Portugal would be having most of the possession due to their insane quality. However, it was clearly seen that Morocco were playing and resisting the European team attack like their life depended on it.
It was simply a masterclass in defensive organization and tactics by Walid Regragui and it is strange to say that Regragui has only been the coach for 3 months. Whereas on the other end, Fernando Santos has been the coach of Portugal for a whopping duration of 7 years.
And due to their discipline in defence and a very good team shape, at the 42nd-minute mark, Morocco managed to break through Portugal’s backline and En Neysri gave his nation the lead. And after that it was simply a park the bus from the African side and all out attack tactic for the European giants.
Soon in the second half, Santos knew he had to bring his star man Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch and he indeed did that hoping the striker would save his nation once again. But arguably the greatest footballer in the world also couldn’t manage to break apart Regragui’s defence.
And in the end, Morocco continued their streak of not conceding for 8 straight games, which resulted in them qualifying for the World Cup semi-final. Now they’ll face the winner of France and England.