- The World Cup hequarter-finals conclude on Saturday with two mouth-watering clashes.
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Portugal the victims of another Morocco miracle
Scorers: En-Nesyri 42′
Red card: Cheddira 90+3′
Morocco caused another huge World Cup upset when they eliminated Portugal from the competition in Saturday’s first quarter-final.
A header from Youssef En-Nesyri at the end of the first half was enough for Walid Regragui’s to pull off another shock, setting up a semi-final encounter with England or France.
Portugal went close in the fifth minute, when Morocco goalkeeper Bono had to be alert to deny João Félix heading in from a free-kick delivery into the box.
Moments later, En-Nesyri headed over for Morocco from a corner at the other end.
The breakthrough came three minutes before half-time, when Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa came to collect a cross but was beaten to it by En-Nesyri, whose header bounced up off the turf into the roof of the net.
Portugal very nearly equalised just minutes later, when the flight of Bruno Fernandes’s cross-come-shot deceived Bono, but thankfully for the goalkeeper it bounced out off the crossbar.
Morocco almost increased their lead early in the second half, when a dangerous whipped free-kick from Hakim Ziyech had to be batted away by Costa.
Cristiano Ronaldo and João Cancelo came off the bench for Portugal, and they almost equalised in the 58th minute but Gonçalo Ramos could only head just wide when a cross found him on the penalty spot.
Portugal continued pressing for an equaliser and almost got one in the 83rd minute, but Bono made a super save to tip Félix’s swerving strike over the bar.
Morocco were then reduced to 10 men in stoppage time, when substitute Walid Cheddira was shown a second yellow card for a studs up challenge on Félix.
Zakaria Aboukhlal then had a brilliant chance to wrap up the victory when he was sent racing through on goal in the 96th minute, but his tame finish with dealt with comfortably by Costa.
Nevertheless, Portugal were unable to find an equaliser, and Morocco marched into the final four