Portugal sans Ronaldo up against giant killers Morocco
Portugal's aging talisman Cristiano Ronaldo will remain on the bench as his team takes the field for a chance to play in the semifinals in a World Cup for the first time since 2006 against a spirited Moroccan side that is carrying the wait of the entire African continent.
Ronaldo's replacement Goncalo Ramos retained his position in the side after his hat-trick against the Switzerland in the round of 16.
Morocco have already punched above their weight in the Qatar World Cup, knocking out Spain from the second round in a penalty shootout.
Now, the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech and Sofyan Amrabat will try to take Morocco to the final four of the World Cup for the very first time with a victory over Portugal at the Al Thumama Stadium, Doha on Saturday
Morocco: Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Jawad El Yamiq, Yahya Attiat-Allah, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah, Azzedine Ounahi, Hakim Ziyech, Soufiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri
Portugal: Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes, Otavio, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves, Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos
1'- Match kicks off. Morocco wear their traditional red and green jersey, Portugal sporting their away jersey
Portugal made the first shot on target from a free-kick. Joao Felix's header nearly was expertly fended away for a corner by Moroccan keeper Yassine Bounou.
9'- Portugal's Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix try to link up, but Moroccan defence stays resolute
13'-Portugal's Raphael's volley denied
Bruno's free-kick 30 yards from the box was met by Neves. His header sent the ball to defender Raphael Guerreiro, whose shot from the edge of the box was deflected by the Moroccan defensive wall.
21'- Morocco attack from the right flank
Hakimi, Ziyech thretening Portugal from the right flank, sending a couple of crosses, but the threat was well dealt yt the Portugese defence.
26'- Morocco's first shot on goal
En-Nesyri took a header from a cross from the right wing, but Portugal keeper Costa didn't have to make a save as the attempt went over the bar.
31'- Felix's shot takes deflection, goes wide
Felix's right-footed attempt took a deflection off Morocco's El Yemiq and goes off target.
35'- Moroccan attempt off target
36'- Morocco's first shot on target courtesy of Boufal, safely kept out by Portugal keeper Costa
39'- Felix once again off target
Felix found himself in an open position inside the box when a cross from the left side came in. But the forward failed to keep his shot on target.
42'-GOAL Morocco go 1-0 up
El Nesyri's header from a loopy cross from Attiyat-Allah evaded the hands of Portugal keeper Costa to enter the Portugal goal.
45'- Two minutes added as stoppage time
45'- Bruno Fernandes denied by the goal bar
47'-Morocco's Amallah's shot goes wide
HALF TIME: Portugal 0 - Morocco 1
Morocco are 45 minutes away from becoming the first African team to qualify for the semifinal of the FIFA World Cup.
Portugal looked the better of the two sides but couldn't land the decisive blow in the first half.
On the other hand, Morocco made their limited time with the ball possession count, as El Nesyri's header gave them the lead at the final minutes of the opening half.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a man known for scoring in big occasions, is still on the Portugal bench, waiting for his turn. When and if Ronaldo be called up for the second half will be interesting to see.
46'- Second half begins. Ronaldo still on the bench
48'-FREE-KICK for Morocco
Hakimi made a promising run on the right wing, winning a free-kick near the box. Ziyech takes the free-kick and sends in an enticing ball into the box, but no Moroccan player could a header in.
51'- Portugal sub-in RONALDO
Portugal make two changes. IN: Ronaldo, Cancelo. OUT: Neves, Raphael
Moroccan defender and captain Saiss is out injured. He has been replaced by Acraf Dari.
60'- FREE-KICK for Portugal. But Bruno's delivery was disappointing, easily fended away by Morocco
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64'- Bruno's ambitious attempt from distance goes inches over the bar
Morocco makes two changes. IN: Cheddira, Benoun. OUT: Amallah, En-Nesyri
68'- Bruno sends a cross into the box, but Ronaldo couldn't reach it
Portugal make two changes. IN: Leao, Vitinha. OUT: Ramos, Otavio
Bruno sent in a cheeky grounded delivery from a free-kick near the right corner flag, however Bernando Silva couldn't reach the ball in time. Goal-kick for Morocco.
74'- Three consecutive corners for Portugal, still no goal
75'- Morocco launch a promising counter-attack. But Cheddira couldn't keep the shot on target
Horta in, Dalot out for Portugal
Two changes for Portugal. OUT: Boufal, Ziyech. IN: Jabrane, Abdoukhlal
83'- Felix's brilliant attempt denied by Morocco keeper Bounou
90'- Eight minutes added as stoppage time
91'- Ronaldo denied by Bounou
Ronaldo received a long ball in a rare lapse in concentration from the Moroccan defence. But Ronaldo' right-footed drive was easily grabbed by Bounou.
93'- RED CARD
Morocco's Cheddira saw a second yellow card after stomping on Felix's foot and was given his marching orders by the referee.
97'- Pepe's header goes wide
Morocco make history
Morocco knocked Portugal out of the Qatar World Cup with an incredible 1-0 win in the quarter-final.
The African nation took a lead at the final minutes of the first half, courtesy of a header from En-Nesyri.
Portugal threw everything they had to offer at the Morocco goal post, fielding Talisman Ronaldo early in the second half.
Morocco were one guy short in the final minutes of the game, after Cheddira saw a second yellow card, but still Portugal couldn't come up with the equaliser.
The defeat also crushes the World Cup dreams of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Moroccan players on cloud nine
It took us a long time to get into the game. The players wanted to, but they couldn't. The players were very confident, they wanted it a lot, but the truth is that we weren't able to show all of our game. We couldn't make goalscoring chances. Leaving the World Cup always hurts.