ROCCY HORROR BLOW MOROCCO stunned Portugal to become the first ever African side to reach the World Cup semi finals thanks to Youssef En-Nesyri’s magical Ronaldo-esque header.
Sevilla striker En-Nesyri was the hero with a brilliant first-half header as Cristiano Ronaldo left the field in TEARS.
Morocco are through to the World Cup semis after beating Portugal 1-0
Cristiano Ronaldo saw his dream of a World Cup win end in tears
Portugal were left frustrated as they crashed out of the tournament
An incredible result to send shockwaves across the world, the Atlas Lions sent the whole of Africa and Arabia wild with an upset for the ages.
Sevilla striker En-Nesyri was the hero with a brilliant first-half header.
With Ronaldo benched again, for a second it looked like the hacked off Portuguese striker had donned a Morocco shirt.
Leaping up into the air like Ronnie used to back in his prime, En-Nesyri got some ridiculous hangtime to connect with Yahia Attiyat-Allah’s cross.
And it will prove to be the most iconic image in Morocco’s history – or for four days at least.
Because, against all the odds, the north Africans are into the last four and dreaming of going the whole way.
Brazil legend Pele predicted many moons ago that there would be an African World Cup winner by 2000.
He didn’t get that quite right, but in this mad tournament of major upsets, would anyone seriously rule it out now?
A heated game saw both sides give their all for a spot in the final four
Ronaldo was left to stew on the bench as he was dropped AGAIN
Roared on by the most fanatical supporters, Walid Regragui’s lionhearts have now seen off Spain and Portugal in the knockouts.
Moroccans from all over made a mad scramble for Doha for the biggest game in their history.
The nation’s official airline put on an extra seven flights from north Africa, though the Al Thumama Stadium was nowhere near capacity at kick off.
Outside the riot police were deployed to keep hundreds of desperate ticketless supporters from entering.
Mass crowding at the gates saw entrances closed, leaving some with tickets stuck outside.
Youssef En-Nesyri put Morocco ahead moments before half-time
The goal proved to be decisive as Morocco held on
Their colourful fans have packed out and blown the roof off every stadium on their deafening march to the last eight.
Thankfully the ground mostly filled up midway through the first half – for a night 98 per cent of those inside will never forget.
Heavy favourites Portugal poked and probed all night but lacked any cutting edge. Joao Felix failed with three half chances early on, while Selim Amallah skied Morocco’s best first-half opening over.
It was tense and nervy but the game needed a spark.
Thankfully, three minutes before the break, En-Nesyri provided it.
Morocco won despite only having 27 per cent possession
Ronaldo eventually came off the bench but could not make an impact
Ronnie’s pal Georgina Rodriguez watched on quietly from the stands
It was a decent cross from left-back Yahia Attiyat Allah and a good header following an incredible spring – but what was Portugal keeper Diogo Costa doing?
He rushed off his line but got nowhere near it to punch clear, ending up in no-man’s land as the forward nodded home his second of the tournament.
Chaos ensued until the break after that, with Bruno Fernandes rattling the bar from a ridiculous angle before Attiyat-Allah spurned a huge chance on the counter.
Six minutes into the second half and we had the loudest jeers of the night – for Ronaldo’s introduction of course.
And it didn’t take long – four minutes precisely – for him to lose his rag at a teammate, Diogo Dalot, for not passing when in a decent position.
The pressure is on Fernando Santos after Portugal bowed out
Ronaldo left the pitch in tears and it remains to be seen if he stays in international football
It was all Portugal now but there’s a good reason Morocco had only conceded one all tournament, and that was an own goal.
Well drilled, hard as nails and hellbent on writing their names into the record books, it was going to take something special to get past Walid Regraguis dogs of war.
Ramos headed wide, Bruno Fernandes lashed over, and with 9 nine minutes to go they were largely untroubled.
Joao Felix then unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the area, but there was that man Bono.
The star of their last 16 penalty shootout win over Spain, the Moroccan keeper was unflappable as cross after cross was launched his way.
And in injury time Ronaldo had his first real sniff as he latched onto a ball over the top, only for the most famous Bono in the world dived to his left and denied.
There was one more chance right at the death but centre-back Pepe headed wide, ensuring one of the most remarkable results in World Cup history.