‘Well f***king played!’: Gary Lineker leads tributes to ‘gutsy’ Morocco after the rank outsiders defeated Portugal to become the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals
Gary Lineker led the praise on social media after Morocco defeated Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final.
Walid Regragui’s team continued their improbable progression through the tournament with a spirited victory at the Al Thumama Stadium, becoming the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final in the process.
Following the game, Lineker took to Twitter to congratulate the team, currently ranked 22nd in the world by FIFA, for reaching the last four of the tournament in Qatar.
A goal from Youssef En-Nesyri secured victory for Morocco against Portugal in the World Cup quarter-final
Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half header proved to be the decisive goal at the Al Thumama Stadium
‘Wow. Sensational victory for Morocco. Gutsy, spirited, organised, calm and deserved. The first African side to reach a World Cup semifinal. Well played. Well f**king played.’
Piers Morgan also took to social media to share his commiserations for Portugal and to pay tribute to the unlikely winners:
‘Wow. Morocco win. Heartbreak for Portugal but what a moment for Africa and the Arab world. And so well deserved – they were fantastic tonight.’
In victory, the team became the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup
KSI also acknowledged the team’s historic achievement in reaching the tournament’s final four: ‘Congratulations Morocco. First African Team to reach the World Cup Semi Finals’
Former Arsenal star and World Cup winner Mesut Ozil wrote: ‘Proud. What a team! What an achievement for the African continent & the Muslim world. Great to see such a fairytale is still possible in modern football – this will give so many people so much power & hope.’
After famously providing the official song for the first World Cup hosted in Africa in 2010, Shakira shared a line from Waka Waka in tribute to the team’s success: ‘This time for Africa!!’
Following the result Gary Lineker led tributes to Walid Regragui’s team on social media
The underdogs took the lead on the brink of the half-time interval after Youssef En-Nesyri slid his header beyond Diogo Costa in the Portugal goal.
With the all-important equaliser continuing to elude Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo was brought off the bench after 51 minutes, but the forward failed to make the desired impact on the game.
Veteran defender Pepe had a golden opportunity to level the game deep into injury time, but his header ultimately fell wide of the Morocco goal ensuring his team’s defeat and resulting in yet another upset at this tournament.
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