Morocco vs Portugal: Alignments and LIVE updates
Can the Atlas Lions continue their fairytale run in Qatar? Or will the supremacy of Portugal prevail?
Morocco and Portugal will face off for a place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-finals, and the heavily supported Atlas Lions aim to pull off another impressive giant-slaying.
Morocco has been the surprise package in Qatar. Their incredible route to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup has seen them topple group F containing established European establishments such as Croatia and Belgium before defeating the Spanish giants in the round of 16.
Walid Regragui’s seasoned side held the uninspiring La Roja to a goalless draw before beating them 3-0 on penalties, thanks in no small part to the goalkeeping prowess of Yassine Bounou, who was unassailable that day.
Already the furthest they’ve been to a final and carrying the hopes of a continent, the Atlas’ Lions have a chance to make history on Saturday by becoming the first African team to qualify for the semi-final of a World Cup tournament. .
Standing in their way, however, is a Portuguese side who have just brushed aside the previously conceived 6-1 Swiss on the street to cross into the quarterfinals.
The Euro 2016 winners had been solid, if unspectacular, in the group stage, but they released the handbrake in their first knockout game.
While many fans were stunned by Portugal manager Fernando Santos’ decision to remove Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting XI for tactical or disciplinary reasons, the move ultimately paid off and proved to be a coup, as Ronaldo’s replacement , Goncalo Ramos, became the first player since then. 2002 to get a hat-trick in the World Cup in his first start.
He also broke the triplet drought in this year’s edition, where it rained keys but the third was elusive. Given Ramos’ admirable performance against Switzerland, it doesn’t look like Ronaldo will be in the playing XI here.
Either way, Portugal enter the contest as heavy favorites thanks to the embarrassment of riches they have in their attacking ranks. While Morocco is clearly the underdog here, they will have plenty of support from Arabs, Africans and neutrals inside the stadium, cheering them on for another scalp. Confirmed lineups for Morocco vs Portugal
Morocco XI (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, El Jamiq, Saiss, Attiyat-Allah; Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah; Ziech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Portugal XI (4-3-3): Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerrero; Neves, Silva, Otávio; Fernndez, Felix, Ramos
Morocco vs Portugal LIVE updatesNext matches of Morocco and Portugal in the World Cup
The winner of these quarter-finals will face the winner between England and France in the semi-final at the Al-Bayt Stadium.
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