Morocco 0 – 0 Portugal
(Quarter-finals, Al Thumama Stadium, 10/12/2022)
Morocco playing in their Red kit, while Portugal are in their 2nd kit in White.
Chelsea Player Hakim Ziyech starts for the Atlas Lions. While Ronaldo is on the bench.
The game starts and every touch of the ball by Portugal is met with whistles and jeers.
Portugal have the better of the early stages.
After 23 minutes Fernandes is lucky not to get a card for going in hard on the goalie Bono as he catches the ball.
30 mins and a long ball is poorly headed away and is met by Felix who strikes it it well, but its deflected behind for a corner.
Morocco are growing in Confidence and it pays off when after 42 minutes a great leap in the air by En-Nesyri as he meets a cross, he beats a defender and the goalie to it and the ball hits the back of the net. Cueing wild scenes in the stadium.
Then Portugal almost equalise as a 44th minute cross/strike from Fernandes hits the crossbar.
The Portuguese keep dropping at the slightest touch, Fernandes being one of the main culprits.
A half shout for a penalty by Fernandes is denied and Morocco counter Attiat-Allah firing wide with only the goalie to beat.
49 mins and a good free-kick by Ziyech goes all the way through to the Costa who parries it and El-Yamiq heads it wide with the goal wide open, so close to 2-0.
50 minutes, Neves and Guerreiro are replaced by Cancelo and Ronaldo. Thats an extra forward player as Portugal look to get back in the game.
Morocco are looking dangerous on the counter attack.
56 mins and Saiss who has been limping badly with a heavily strapped hamstring is replaced by Dari.
57 mins a good cross is met by the head of Ramos, but it goes wide.
The Moroccans have retreated deeper, can they hold on.
63 mins and a good strike from distance by Bruno Fernandes goes just over.
64 mins and Morocco make a double change, goalscorer el Nesyri is replaced by Benoun and defender Cheddiri comes on for a midfielder Amallah as they look to shore up the defence.
68 mins and a double change for Portugal Rafael Leao and Vitinha. Otavio and Goncalo Ramos come off as Morocco switch to a defensive back five
69 mins and the first yellow card is shown to
the free-kick is well executed finding Silva alone in the box but he fluffs his shot
the Portuguese win a series of corners and the pressure is mounting on Moroccan defence
75 the Moroccans get a counter attack but it fizzles out the Portuguese are throwing everything at them..
Ziyech is taken out but no foul is given, Morocco attack, but again the final ball is not good, Ziyech is still down and is receiving treatment off the pitch.
78 Dalot comes off and is replaced by Horta as Portugal go for broke.
80 Ziyech is finally replaced as is Boufal, to be replaced by more defenders.
82 A mistake by a defender sees Ronaldo tee up Felix who curls in a great shot that is well saved by Bono.
It’s turning into a siege, which is broken as V gets a yellow card allowing the Moroccans a bit of breathing room
Both sets of subs are in the technical area the 4th official is having a problem controlling them.
90 minutes and Ronaldo has a chance to equalise, but Bono gathers it up
A yellow card for Cheddira for a foul on Pepe
8 minutes of extra time for the Moroccans to hold on
The noise is deafening in the stadium
Cheddira then gets a 2nd yellow in as many minutes for a stamp on the foot of Felix and he’s off.
3 mins to go, Morocco get a great break 1 on 1 with the keeper but the shot is weak and keeper holds firm. Pepe has one final chance, but heads wide.
And the whistle goes, wild scenes on and off the pitch. Morocco are the first African team to reach a world cup semi-final, and in doing so have only conceded one goal (an own goal)
Ronaldo is in tears as he goes down the tunnel.
We now have two Blues in the Semi-Finals.
Morocco: Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, , Jawad Yamiq, Romain Saiss, Yahya Attiat-Allah, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah, Azzedine Ounahi, Hakim Ziyech, Soufiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri.
Portugal: Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes, Otavio, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos, Ruben Neves
Posted by the CSG’s World Cup Willie