Morocco vs Portugal – World Cup Quarter final match report
By Bradley Kirk
Portugal knocked out of Qatar World Cup 2022 by Magical Morocco! This enthralling match up turned out to be one of the most entertaining games of football in this world cup so far! All eyes were on: Portugal, Ronaldo and his replacement in the squad, Goncalo Ramos. With Ramos scoring a hattrick in his last match against Switzerland. However, Morocco came into this fixture with bags of confidence! After knocking out Spain in the round of 16, alongside defeating Belgium convincingly in group F. Morocco had shown that they are a well structed team that can put up a good contest against the prolific international sides this tournament. Everything was to play for!
Morocco: Morocco made two changes to their back line coming into this fixture. #3 Mazraoui is replaced by #25 Allah. Alongside, #5 Aguerd being replaced by #18 Yamiq.
Portugal: Portugal only made one change for this game. #14 Carvalho is replaced by #18 Neves.
Football match timeline:
• 3rd minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
First foul of the game committed by Morocco’s #25 Allah, sliding into Dalot after he kicks the ball away. The free kick leads to the first chance of the game, a deep cross into the box meets the head of Felix as he forces Bono to make a quick reaction save for a Portuguese corner.
• 5th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
The subsequent corner is cleared well by Morocco and they win a throwing up the pitch.
• 5th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
The throwing by Morocco leads to some fluent passing play and a ball is lobbed over the top of the Portuguese defence for #25 Allah to chase. Dalot manages to track back into to block the shot from the Moroccan fullback.
• 6th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
First big chance for Morocco as the corner is swung into the box with a narrowly; well placed headered over the crossbar by #19 En-Nesyri.
• 10th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Both teams indulging in even possession with Portugal lobbing deep passing into the Moroccan half. Whilst Morocco successfully builds up play from their goalkeeper to try and create attacking threats. Both teams defending well in during the early stages of this game.
• 12th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Another deep ball played into the Moroccan box from a Portuguese free kick, a deflected header lands well for #5 Guerreiro as he strikes the ball across the box towards goal. However, the shot is blocked by the Moroccan defence!
• 17th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
End to end play but no real chances for either team.
• 18th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Ziyech receives the ball wide and drives towards the centre of the Portuguese half to strike a shot wide of the post.
• 19th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Boufal receives the ball in the corner of the Moroccan half, quickly closed down by Portuguese players he wriggles his way out of pressure with some high-quality skill. He is then fouled off the ball, after getting back up he gestures at the Moroccan fans which makes the atmosphere even more electric!
• 23rd minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Ball crossed into the Moroccan box; Bono comes to retrieve just as Bruno Fernandes tries to attack the ball. Both player’s clash and fall to the ground, Portugal’s attackers seemed annoyed with Fernandes as the charged into the Moroccan goal keeper. However, no one was injured and a free kick was given.
• 25th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
A free kick given in Morocco’s favour nearing the centre of the Portuguese half. The ball is crossed in and En-Nesyri again heads the ball wide of the mark. The Moroccan #19 is looking lively tonight!
• 30th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
More over the top passing flood the Moroccan area and another headered clearance lands nicely for Felix. He controls the ball to his feet and half volleys a thunderous strike from the outside of his boot, a slight deflection glides the ball barely over the crossbar!
• 35th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
More pressure mounting against Portugal as Morocco continue to attack, taking more shots but nothing too threatening at the moment.
• 39th minute: Morocco 0-0 Portugal
Another press from the Portuguese attackers, followed by another strike from Felix. This time a first time hit just from inside the box. But the shot was a bit too wild for it to hit the target.
• 42nd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Goooooal! Morocco strike clinical first! The play starts from the Moroccans goal keeper Bono, and the team progresses by their way up the field. The ball eventually rolls towards Allah as he swings in a magnificent cross from the left-hand side of the pitch. The Portuguese keeper Costa tries to rush out to claim the ball however En-Nesyri is more determined to win the ball with a towering header! The ball bounces past the rushed out goal keeper and hits the floor as it bounces straight into the centre of the net! All whilst the Al Thumama Stadium erupts! The Moroccan fans go wild over the glimpse of being the first African nation progressing into a semi final of the world cup!
• 44th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
A long ball is played into the right hand side of Morocco’s half, it is then headered onto Fernandes just from outside of the box. He then swings his foot onto the ball to hit a half volley. The ball beats the goal keeper but unfortunately hits the crossbar and bounces back into play!
• 45th +1 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Felix receives the ball just outside of the Moroccan box and plays a wonderful through ball towards Fernandes, he runs onto the ball but seems to be tripped or pushed by a defending player that was behind him. However, the referee calls for the game to be played on despite the Portuguese outrage.
• 45th +2 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
A three vs two attack in favour of Morocco ends up wasted as Allah receives a good pass out wide but he slices the ball to hard and it ends up going out for a goal kick.
• 48th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Hakimi intercepts a Portuguese pass in his own half and continues to sprit down the right hand side of the pitch, #18 Neves tries to intercept the Paris Saint Germain right back but his blistering pace get him past the midfielder. He ultimately wins a free kick in a dangerous position.
• 49th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
The free kick is powerfully curled in by Ziyech, the ball connects to a Moroccan header which gives even more power to the movement of the football but the header is hit straight towards the Costa in goal.
• 51st minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
#5 Raphael Guerreiro & #18 Ruben Neves off for Portugal - Replaced by #20 Joao Cancelo & #7 Cristiano Ronaldo.
• 52nd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Ronaldo immediately into the action, running down the left wing and crossing a ball into the box. However, its catching practice for the goal keeper.
• 52nd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Boufal goes for a leaping header from the goal kick however he falls over Dalot and lands very awkwardly on this back.
• 55th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
End to end football but no accurate or dangerous shots from either team.
• 56th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
The former Wolves centre back Saiss falls down to the ground in some discomfort, after the medical team comes to check on him. He ends up leaving the pitch on a stretcher. Possibly cutting his world cup run short.
• 57th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
#6 Romain Saiss off for Morocco – Replaced by #20 Achraf Dari
• 57th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
#26 A Portuguese player twists and turns past numerous Moroccan opposition, then delivers a fast cross from outside of the box with his right foot towards #26 Ramos. He headers the ball barely wide of the right hand side post as Bono is left rooted to the spot!
• 62nd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Very high intensity game with both teams having good amounts of possession but no clear cut chances as of yet.
• 63rd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Bernado Silva receives the ball on the left hand side in the Moroccan half. Just outside of the box, he slips a direct pass to Fernandes who is facing the goal. He strikes the ball clean and true, the football is inches away from powering into the back of the net, instead it’s just over the crossbar!
• 64th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
#15 Selim Amallah & #19 En-Nesyri off for Morocco - #21 Walid Cheddira & #24 Badr Benoun on
• 80th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Portugal dominates the possession for the past 15 minutes however Morocco’s defence holds strong and they manage to deal with any attacks the Portuguese throw at them.
• 82nd minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
The ball is laid in towards Felix just inside the right corner of the area, he curls the ball with a first time strike and Bono gets fingertips to the football keeping it out of the goal!
• 89th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Constant Portuguese pressure but Morocco holds out with every man defending with a great sense of team spirit!
• 90th minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
A great through ball is played to Ronaldo across the ground, past every defender! Ronaldo manages to hit a show low and to Bono’s left hand side but he gets enough on it to make the save.
• 90th +1 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Cheddira gets a yellow card
• 90th +2 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Cheddira gets another yellow card for a late challenge and is sent off!
• 90th +5 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
Last ditch defending by Morocco as Portugal apply the pressure, a big clearance out by Allah sets up Aboukhlal through on goal! All he has to do is beat the Portuguese Keeper Costa to seal the deal for Morocco… Instead, he hits the ball directly at the Costa as he rushes out of his goal to close the gap!
• 90th +7 minute: Morocco 1-0 Portugal
One last chance for Portugal as Rafael Leao picks up a loose ball in the left corner of the Moroccan half. He shimmies one player and crosses the ball into the box! Pepe is waiting for the header and he has a clear chance with no opposition marking him but he powers the header wide of the post!
Despite ticketless fans trying to get into the stadium just before kickoff, leaving fans with genuine tickets having to struggle entering the stadium. The first half of half empty seats proved irrelevant, as the atmosphere from start to finish was electric! Morocco have beaten the odds and become the first African nation to reach the semi final of a World Cup!
Man of the match:
Man of the match goes to Yahia Allah, his work rate and performance throughout the 90 minutes was superb. He defended we and played his role to perfection, but he also offered so much energy up the field. Eventually assisting En-Nesyris match winning goal.