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Morocco Atlas Lions Are Africa’s last Hope in World Cup

3 Min Read

Morocco’s Atlas Lions have done Africa proud by roaring to the World Cup’s quarter-finals stage and will face Portugal  on Saturday December 10.

African’s will patriotically cheer Morocco against the European team at the Al Thumama Stadium.

Morocco on the other hand made history when they defeated Spain in a penalty shootout, becoming the first Arab team to reach the quarter-finals, and only the fourth African team to do so.

If Morocco manages to get a win from Portugal, they stand to make history on multiple levels.

In addition to becoming the first Moroccan team to achieve this, Hakim Ziyech and company would also be the first Arab and African team to reach the top four.

Morocco’s most reliable weapon in this tournament is the winning mentality including the goalkeeper Yassine Bounou whose goal keeping expertise sent Spain out of the tournament.

Yassine Bounou exhibited super goalkeeping skills in the round of 16 match against Spain on Tuesday. Morocco won the match 3-0 on penalties, outperforming Spain.

Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique, said that Bounou is a “great goalkeeper on penalties when it comes to guessing which way the shot is going.”

“Bounou gives importance to penalties,” Spanish news outlet Marca said before describing the  Atlas Lion as an “expert” in goalkeeping.

As Enrique feared Bounou grabbed the team a ticket to the quarter-finals. “Bounou sent his country of residence home,” Marca wrote.

AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said that Morrocco’s victory against Spain made all “Africa proud and fulfilled by the historic achievement of the Atlas Lions who have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.”

Similarly the Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the win honored “Arab football.”

“All congratulations to Morocco for its precious victory today and its triumphant qualifications to the quarterfinals. You honored Arab football and we expect more from you… Best wishes for success.” Aboul Gheit said.

The Moroccan football team received an overwhelming wave of congratulations from many heads of state, including Senegal President Macky Sall and President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas.

King Mohammed VI also held a phone call with President of Morocco’s Football Federation Fouzi Lekjaa and head coach Walid Regragui to congratulate the Atlas Lions for Tuesday’s historic win.

In a post-match conference, Regragui congratulated his team and their spectacular performances and efforts in the World Cup and dedicated Tuesday’s win to King Mohammed VI.