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World Cup 2022: Morocco on the brink of African history in Qatar


No African country has reached the World Cup semi-finals.

The furthest Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana and Morocco have gone is the quarter-finals.

Ghana probably had the best chance to make it into the last four.

In the 2010 edition hosted ironically in South Africa, the Black Stars were playing a 1-1 draw with Uruguay in extra time, when Luis Suarez handled the ball on the line.

The 120 minutes were literally up and if Asamoah Gyan’s fierce shot crept just under the bar, the West Africans would have gone through. Instead, they went on to lose 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out.

Morocco has the chance to create that history this Saturday.

The Atlas Lions sent Spain packing in their last-eight clash and now the world is rooting for them to be the tournament’s surprise package.

Standing in their way is Portugal, who crushed Switzerland 6-1 to get here.

Pooja Sulaimon is a photographer who has mostly covered African teams in Qatar.

“Against Spain, I said if they can cut down the possession and soak the pressure well, they will win.

“But against Portugal, they shouldn’t use this template. They should have a go at Portugal, because Ghana showed that they are vulnerable at the back.

“So, I expect more purposeful football from Morocco and they can upset Portugal,” Sulaimon told DAILY POST.

Portugal looked like a team reimagined against the Swiss. Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the starting XI and Goncalo Ramos who took his place netted a hat-trick.

It will indeed be a tough task for the Moroccans, but Sulaimon reckons that the 12th man support could prove crucial.

“Moroccans are unbelievable in Qatar. They are here in their numbers and even without the support of Africans from group stages, they always overwhelmed the opponents on match day.

“And now, Qataris are behind them because they speak the same language and it is an obvious advantage for them when the host country is behind you,” he added.

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