Morocco makes historical past as first Arab nation to achieve quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — The primary World Cup held in an Arab nation has produced the Arab world’s first quarterfinalist.

Morocco turned solely the fourth African nation to achieve the quarterfinals on the largest soccer match on the planet by beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw via additional time.

The Moroccans had been taking part in in solely their second knockout sport at a World Cup, an occasion that’s being held within the Center East for the primary time in its almost 100-year historical past.

“Proper now’s a particular second for all Africa, for all of the Arab nations, for all of the Muslims round this world,” Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi mentioned. “You attempt to make them completely happy, attempt to make ourselves completely happy. And I believe it goes fairly nicely.”

The World Cup in Qatar is the primary to be performed within the Arab world and solely the second to be held in Asia. The match started with one of many largest upsets in historical past when Saudi Arabia beat two-time champion Argentina on the third day of motion.

The Saudis had been eradicated, as had been host Qatar and Tunisia, within the group stage. That left Morocco because the Arab world’s commonplace bearer.

All video games on Channel 2Channel 40Channel 48


7 a.m.: Croatia vs. Brazil

11 a.m.: Netherlands vs. Argentina


7 a.m.: Morocco vs. Portugal

11 a.m.: England vs. France

“I’m very pleased with my followers, of my individuals and Arabic individuals,” mentioned Morocco coach Walid Regragui, who’s the primary African to educate an African staff to the quarterfinals. “Additionally as a result of I believe you have got Qatari individuals right here, possibly Algerian individuals, Tunisian individuals, Arabic individuals and African individuals.”

Achraf Hakimi, who was born in Madrid and beforehand performed for Actual Madrid, transformed the deciding penalty within the shootout. Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech, who returned to the nationwide staff after a dispute with the earlier coach, additionally scored.

After the match, exuberant Moroccans poured into the streets of their capital, Rabat, and in cities throughout Europe, waving flags and honking horns to have a good time.

Morocco faces Portugal within the quarterfinals Saturday.

Portugal 6, Switzerland 1: A chant of “RONALDO! RONALDO!” swept round Lusail within the largest stadium on the World Cup, adopted by loud jeers when the followers realized their idol wasn’t coming onto the sector.

Cristiano Ronaldo was, actually, sitting within the Portugal dugout, trying glum and nonetheless carrying a substitute’s bib. And the person who began as a substitute of him Tuesday was about to finish a hat trick.

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