Close this search box.

Morocco 1-0 Portugal: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction & more

A first-half strike by Sevilla frontman Youssef En-Nesyri was all that the Atlas Lions would need to hold on to a historic victory under beloved manager Walid Regragui

Morocco has done the unthinkable tonight as their fairytale run at the 2022 World Cup continues after a shock 1-0 win over Portugal just days after defeating Spain on penalties to reach the quarterfinals.

Walid Regragui’s Ousud Al-atlas have yet to taste defeat in Qatar this winter and have now stood toe-to-toe with four European giants and come away with their heads held high on their way to a historic run to the semi-finals; a first for an African nation.

Portugal headed into the tie as favorites after putting six past Switzerland in their previous outing. Morocco was also without some key players heading into the match, with two of their back-four that started in their historic win over Spain out due to injury.

A Seleçao dominated possession but neither side was able to create too much early on. The first decent chance of the tie came 30 minutes in when Joao Felix’s shot took a deflection and wrong-footed Bono, but the chance went over the bar anyway.

Morocco, meanwhile, continuously hit Portugal on the counter, coming close to scoring late in the first 45 via Hakim Ziyech and then Sofiane Boufal. The African outfit would then open the scoring 42 minutes in after the ball was floated into the box and Youssef En Nesyri rose highest to head over Diogo Costa.

The introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo and João Cancelo five minutes after the resumption of play certainly added a new measure of belief for Portugal as their performance levels increased almost immediately.

Try as they did, Portugal could not find the equalizer as Morocco remained doggedly determined, as they have all tournament while championing the notion that togetherness can close the gap when you cannot measure up for singular quality. But the European side nearly leveled in the final minute of added time after veteran defender Pepe glanced his header just wide of the mark when he so easily could have nodded home in dramatic fashion.

And despite second-half substitute Walid Cheddira being sent off after seeing two yellows in quick succession, the Atlas Lions held on to achieve the unthinkable and reached World Cup heights never before seen by a nation from an African nation.

Portugal Player Ratings

  • Diogo Costa (GK): 5
  • Diogo Dalot (RB): 6.5
  • Pepe (CB): 6.5
  • Rúben Dias (CB): 6.5
  • Raphaël Guerreiro (LB): 6
  • Ruben Neves (CDM): 6
  • Bernardo Silva (RCM): 6
  • Otavio (LCM): 7
  • Bruno Fernandes (RW): 7
  • João Félix (LW): 6
  • Gonçalo Ramos (ST): 5.5
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Sub): 6
  • João Cancelo (Sub): 6.5
  • Vitinha (Sub): 6
  • Rafael Leão (Sub): 6.5
  • Ricardo Horta (Sub): 6

Morocco Player Ratings

  • Yassine Bounou (GK): 7.5
  • Achraf Hakimi (RB): 6.5
  • Romain Saïss (CB): 7
  • Jawad El Yamiq (CB): 7
  • Yahya Attiat-Allah (LB): 7.5
  • Sofyan Amrabat (DM): 7
  • Azzedine Ounahi (CM):
  • Selim Amallah (CM): 6.5
  • Hakim Ziyech (RW): 6.5
  • Sofiane Boufal (LW): 7
  • Youssef En-Nesyri (ST): 7.5
  • Achraf Dari (Sub): 6
  • Walid Cheddira (Sub): 5
  • Badr Benoun (Sub): 6
  • Zakaria Aboukhlal (Sub): 6
  • Yahya Jabrane (Sub): 6

Fan reaction

Expert analysis

Picture of Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *