Three African sides had previously reached this stage of the World Cup but none had progressed any further. Until now. The marvellous Moroccan players and fans rejoiced as En-Nesyri’s header on 42 minutes proved to be the pivotal moment. Fans whistled and jeered every pass the Portuguese players made and then the rowdiest section behind the goal seemed to suck the ball into the net.Walid Regragui’s side were missing West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd, Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui and lost captain Romain Saiss to injury early in the second period. But they defended resolutely and frustrated Portugal to keep their seventh clean sheet in eight games under their boss and have conceded just once in this tournament. Morocco are a tough proposition and buoyed on by a partisan crowd in Doha, they will present a difficult challenge to whoever they face in the last four on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Bounou, earning his 50th cap, pushed away a header from Felix early on and a deflected strike flew narrowly over.
Morocco had carved out the better opportunities on the break but En-Nesyri sent two free headers off target and Sofiane Boufal’s curler was straight at Costa.
In his desperation for an equaliser, Fernando Santos sent on Ronaldo early in the second half but the 37-year-old – who equalled Kuwait striker Bader Al-Mutawa’s international caps record – found it difficult to make any impact.
Morocco joined Argentina, Croatia.

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