Arabian Knights End Ronaldo’s Dream

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Qatar 2022 Quarterfinals match 3

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Portugal 0 vs Morocco 1


By Gerald Lutchman

THERE will not be a Ronaldo vs Messi final, as many of us wanted at this World Cup.

Instead, Morocco will head into the semifinals and Portugal will go home. In a major shock, Morocco became the first Arab side to reach the semifinals and also the first African team to do so. Not even the incredible Cristiano Ronaldo could have saved Portugal and he walked off from his teammates in tears indicating that this may very well be his end with the national team.

world cup t shirt


Portugal had 74% of the ball and cannot complain about chances as they had 12 shots at goal but only three on target. The speed and jumping height of the Moroccans kept the Portuguese in check. Ronaldo came on in the second half (52nd) and looked half the player he was a few years ago. Morocco have now beaten Portugal twice in their three meetings in 1966 and 2022.

Youssef En -Nesyri’s (42nd) header will go down in history as it placed a team from the African continent into the semifinals of the Qatar World Cup. They will meet France or England. They surpassed Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) who all reached a quarterfinal. It will be interesting to see if this defence can continue not to concede goals as they move along. But they have a number of injuries to contend with.

Morocco midfielders Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ouhahi made the difference along with the entire defence. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was also tremendous in the effort to the semifinals. Scenes of extreme joy erupted in the Arab world, especially in Morocco, as thousands took to the streets in celbration. In Portugal, many were seen crying and had wished that the great Ronaldo would have ended his career in a better fashion.

Ronaldo has scored eight goals over five tournaments in 20 games at the World Cup. He played in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022. He is the first and only man to score in five consecutive tournaments.

Morocco will now face the winners of France vs England. The fairytale continues and it may have a very happy ending. The Europeans should not consider this an easy team to beat. We may well have the first African team in the finals.


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