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Morocco vs Portugal, team news, lineups

With the field narrowing and the World Cup trophy closer in sight, trailblazers Morocco take on quarter-final opponents Portugal at the Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday. Now set to fight for a place in the final four, the Atlas Lions held off Spain to reach this stage for the first time by winning on penalties, while the Selecao were a team transformed as they thrashed Switzerland in the last 16. Morocco vs Portugal FIFA World Cup.

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Morocco vs Portugal FIFA World Cup

Further cementing hero status, Achraf Hakimi applied the finest of finishing touches in Morocco’s defensive masterclass on Tuesday, as his ‘Panenka’ penalty condemned Spain to a 3-0 shootout defeat and sent the North African nation into the quarter-finals.

After fighting hard to resist the Spanish ‘death by a thousand passes’ approach, Walid Regragui’s side sacrificed most of the possession to draw goalless and set the stage for a spectacular final, during which goalkeeper Yassin Bounu saved two spot-kicks. And join Hakimi as an eternal icon in Rabat, Marrakech and beyond.

At a Glance Morocco

Becoming only the fourth African team to reach the last eight at the World Cup – and the first for 12 years – sent a packed Education City stadium wild, as it was populated mainly by Moroccan fans whose enthusiasm has proved a prominent feature of these finals. .

The Atlas Lions’ only previous appearance in the last 16 came back in 1986, and Regargui’s men have broken new ground not just for their nation, but for the Arab world. In the process, they extended their unbeaten run at the World Cup to five matches and kept a remarkable sixth clean sheet from their last seven outings.

With the quality and promise of Hakimi, fellow full-back Nousair Mazraoui, and their centre-back and tireless midfield anchor Sofiane Amrabat, a Moroccan squad drawn partly from the diaspora has become one of the weakest defensive units in international football.

Statistic of Portugal

Defeating fellow Europeans such as Croatia and Belgium saw them finish top of Group F at the start of the campaign, so facing Portugal should be no fear for the quarter-final outsiders.

Rewarded for asserting his authority by benching Portugal’s iconic captain, Fernando Santos enjoyed perhaps his biggest win since the 2016 European Championship success this week, as the Selecao cruised past Switzerland and into the last eight of Qatar 2022.

The omission of aging superstar Cristiano Ronaldo meant a much more mobile and active attack, and his replacement – Benfica star Goncalo Ramos – was certainly tasked with replacing the dethroned king.

After hitting an unstoppable opener at home. The 21-year-old went on to complete a fairytale hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 win and his first treble of the tournament in his first senior start.

If there was any doubt that the future was here in Portuguese football. Milan winger Rafael Leo stopped his side’s Swiss blitz by firing home the sixth goal in a display that made the world sit up and take notice.

Prediction Morocco vs Portugal FIFA World Cup

Despite a late deficit against South Korea already in qualification. Santos saw his side negotiate safe passage to the opening round of the World Cup as Group H winners. And with three wins and 12 goals already to their name they may believe they can now go up. Trophy for the first time.

Eusebio-inspired semi-finalists in 1966. Portugal have defied their relatively modest demographics to win both the Euros and the Nations League recently. For all their success at youth level, the Iberians have never made it to a senior global final. But Saturday’s clash with Morocco presents an opportunity to move one step closer to the beautiful game’s greatest prize.

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