World Cup underdogs Morocco are set to face Portugal in the quarter-finals.
Morocco have been superb at the World Cup so far, topping Group F ahead of Croatia and Belgium before stunning Spain in the round of 16.
After a goalless draw, the Atlas Lions won on penalties after Spain missed all of their penalty kicks.
The reward for Walid Regragui’s men is a draw in the round of 16 against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.
A Seleçao crushed Switzerland 6-1 in the final round as Goncalo Ramos stole the show by scoring a hat-trick after starting ahead of Ronaldo.
These two last met in the 2018 World Cup group stage as Ronaldo fired home early to secure a 1-0 victory for Portugal.
Morocco v Portugal: talkSPORT coverage
This quarter-final will take place on Saturday, December 10.
The game at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha will start at 3 p.m.
talkSPORT will have live coverage with Hugh Woozencroft on the Task presentation ahead of comments from Nigel Adderley and former England striker Dean Ashton.
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Morocco vs Portugal: Squads and team news
- Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou, Munir Mohamedi, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti
- Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Roman Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Badr Benoun, Jawad El Yamiq, Achraf Dari, Yahia Attiyat Allah
- Midfielders: Sofyan Amrabat, Amine Harit, Azzedine Ounahi, Ilias Chair, Selim Amallah, Yahya Jabrane, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Bilal El Khannous
- Forwards: Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Abderrazak Hamdallah, Abde Ezzalzouli, Sofiane Boufal, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Walid Cheddira
- Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa, Rui Patricio, Jose Sa
- Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Danilo Pereira, Antonio Silva, Nuno Mendes, Raphael Guerreiro
- Midfielders: William Carvalho, Ruben Neves, Palhinha, Bruno Fernandes, Vitinha, Otavio, Matheus Nunes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario
- Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao, Ricardo Horta, André Silva, Goncalo Ramos
Morocco vs Portugal: what has been said?
Morocco coach Walid Regragui: “We showed the world that every Moroccan is Moroccan, when he comes with the national team he wants to die, wants to fight.
“I was born in France but no one can take my heart away from my country. My players give 100%. Some players were born in Germany, others in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and all countries have a football culture. You make this milkshake with that and you make it to the quarter-finals.
“A big congratulations to the players, they did something extraordinary, in the frenzy of energy, in the desire not to let go of this match.
“Since the start of the competition, we’ve been playing with a team that’s not 100%, that’s why it’s even more extraordinary.
“We managed to create a family and we feel that we have a people behind us.
“If you had told me before we started that we would face Croatia, Belgium and Spain without losing a game, I would have signed for that.”
Morocco – Portugal: summary of the match
- Against Switzerland in the last outing, Portugal’s Gonçalo Ramos became the first player to score a hat-trick in his first World Cup start since Miroslav Klose in 2002. Ramos scored three goals in 74 minutes played in the Round of 16. World Cup final, while Cristiano Ronaldo is still looking for his first goal in the round of 16 of the competition (531 minutes played).
- Hakim Ziyech scored (1) or assisted (1) half of Morocco’s goals in the 2022 World Cup (2/4). Indeed, he has been directly involved in a third of all Morocco’s shots in the current tournament (10/30), leading the team in both shots (6) and chances created (4).
- Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in more goals (5) than any other Portuguese player at the 2022 World Cup. Along with his two goals scored, Fernandes’ three assists are the most of any Portuguese player in only one World Cup tournament, with António Simões and José Torres from 1966 and Luís Figo from 2006.
- Morocco have kept three clean sheets in four games at the 2022 World Cup; the most ever achieved by an African team in a single edition of the tournament. Overall, Nigeria (7) is the only African team to have kept more clean sheets than Morocco (6) in World Cup history.
- Portugal scored 12 goals in four games at the 2022 World Cup, scoring only in one tournament in 1966 (17). Their 12 goals have been scored by eight different players, which is the most different scorers they have ever had in a World Cup tournament.
- Morocco enters this match on a series of five games without defeat in the World Cup (W2 D3); their longest unbeaten streak in the competition. Four of those games were coached by Walid Regragui (W2 D2), who will become the first African manager to take charge of a World Cup quarter-final in that game.
- This will be Portugal’s third World Cup quarter-final, as they have progressed in each of the previous two – 5-3 against Korea DPR in 1966 and 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out against England in 2006. Portugal scored as many goals in their last match against Switzerland (6) as they had in their last eight World Cup Round of 16 matches combined.
- Morocco are seeking to become the first African team to qualify for the semi-finals of a World Cup tournament. Indeed, each of the three previous African teams to have reached a quarter-final have all been eliminated at this stage: Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
- There have been 11 previous matches in the Round of 16 of the World Cup between African and European teams, nine of which have been won by the European team. The two exceptions are Senegal’s 2-1 victory in extra time against Sweden in 2002 (round of 16) and Morocco’s victory on penalties against Spain in the previous round this year.
- This will be the third meeting between Morocco and Portugal, the previous two being both in the World Cup. Morocco won the first in a group stage clash in 1986 (3-1), before Portugal prevailed 1-0 in the 2018 tournament where they also shared a group.
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