Amidst the FIFA fever, Arab and African football fans got another reason to celebrate.
Morocco which is known as Atlas Lions recorded a landslide entry in the FIFA world cup semifinals and became the first Arab and African country to do so.
In a worth watching match, Morocco stunned the former European champions Portugal with its giant-killing run 1-0 in the Quarter-final match at the AI Thumama Stadium at the Qatar 2022.
Youssef En-Nesyri scored the pivotal goal of his career in the 43rd minute of the game by leaping so high that he appeared to be defying the laws of physics. He then beat a leaping Diogo Costa in goal for Portugal and defender Ruben Dias.
En-Nesyri scored his third World Cup goal with this one, and the striker was so persistent that even after two unsuccessful header attempts, he had faith in his ability to create the magic that enthralled supporters in the Arab and African continents.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the top striker for Portugal, had not played at the start of the game, and Fernando Santos introduced him in the 51st. The Moroccans resolutely and forcefully held off a late comeback from Portugal to secure their place in history in the Qatar 2022 semifinals.
Waleeed Cheddira was sent off after picking two yellow cards, which led to a man advantage for Portugal with five minutes of the injury time left.
On Wednesday, they will play the winner of the late-Saturday blockbuster between England and France.
The closest any African nation has gone to a semifinal appearance at the World Cup was Ghana’s penalty kick loss to Uruguay in 2010.
Since becoming the first country from Africa to reach the knockout stage in 1986, Morocco has advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup.
Senegal and Ghana accomplished the same feat in 2002 and 2010, and Cameroon notably made it to the quarterfinals in 1990.