QATAR 2022: Ronaldo fails to save Portugal as Morocco make Africa history at the World Cup

Morocco went into the clash with full confidence after edging out Portugal’s Iberian neighbours, Spain, on penalties in the round of 16.

El-Nesyri punishes Portugal

However, Walid Regragui’s men started on the back foot, with Portugal dominating possession. Fernando Santos’s men had the first chance of the game after Bruno Fernandes’ freekick found Joao Felix.

However, Morocco’s hero against Spain, Yassine Bono, did brilliantly to push away the Atletico Madrid man’s header for a corner.

Portugal continued to dominate possession, with a few half-chances falling into the half-path of Felix. But once again, the 23-year-old could not connect properly.

The Selecao would later regret those missed chances as Morocco, who had been dangerous on the break, took the lead against the run of play in the 42nd minute through El-Nesyri.

The Sevilla man sent Moroccan fans into delirium after he headed home a cross Yahia Attiyat Allah, although Diogo Costa could have done better.

Portugal almost responded immediately through Fernandes, but the Manchester United man’s audacious effort could only hit the crossbar.

Morocco make history as it all end in tears for Ronaldo

Morocco went into the break with the lead, but Portugal resumed the second half with attacking intent. Santos reacted just a few minutes after the break by bringing on Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo.

However, despite the pressure applied by the Portuguese, Morocco defended resiliently, reducing the 2016 European champions to shots from outside.

Santos’ men almost drew level, though, through Felix, but the youngster was once again denied brilliantly by Bono in Morocco’s goal.

With time running out, Portugal were handed a lifeline as Morocco were reduced to ten men after Walid Cheddira was sent off for a second bookable offence.

However, the Atlas Lions resisted Portugal’s late pressure to secure their place in the World Cup semi-final, where they will meet either France or England.

It was a well-deserved victory for the North Africans, exceeding expectations. As for Portugal, it is the end of the road for them and most importantly their greatest player Cristiano Ronaldo.

The clubless superstar was hoping for a final swansong on the biggest stage, but it was not to be for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who will now go down as the greatest Portugal player of all time.