Morocco dominating the World Cup

Lara Elbedour

On Saturday, December 12, 2022, Morocco defeated Portugal at the World Cup, leading the team to the semi-finals, where not only Moroccans but the whole Arab community came together to celebrate their advance to the semi-finals.

Ecstatic Moroccans poured onto the streets of their capital and all other North African countries on Saturday, waving the Palestinian and Moroccan flags in the air. After Portugal’s match against Morocco, the entire Arab community came together to celebrate their advancement to the semifinals but also a historic moment as they became the first African, Muslim, and Arab team to reach the semifinals since 2018. Additionally, fans in Qatar’s stadium and around the world became ecstatic, as if an entire region was inside witnessing their team make World Cup history. Even Morocco’s team manager could see the overwhelming support from fans around the world and in the stadium as he said, “Before it was just the Moroccans who supported us, now it is the Africans and Arabs,” manager Walid Regragui said before the quarterfinal, referencing the electric atmosphere that has accompanied his team at every game.

Aside from defeating Portugal, one of the strongest and most skilled teams, Morocco also dominated its matches against Sudan, Ghana, and Madagascar. One of the reasons Morocco is undefeatable this year is because of their defense, particularly the sensational play of goalkeeper Bono Yassine, also known as “Bono.” Bono showed off his incredible skill during matches, as none of Morocco’s opponents in this World Cup, including Croatia, Belgium, Canada, and Spain, have scored a goal or a penalty. After Morocco’s historic win over Portugal, even foreign fans who supported opposing teams were elated to see the team win and advance to the semi-finals after a long and tiresome match, the team’s fans said. “We were so stressed as if we were on the pitch with the players, but now we want the trophy,” said Mohamed Amine, who was celebrating in Rabat.

Moreover, the reason for Morocco’s winning streak is their clean defense, which allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to score a goal with an assist from Yahia Attiyat-Allah, making it the only winning goal that defeated Portugal. Even after the legendary soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo had a chance to equalize the score, his low shot was once again saved by Bono, who never fails to block a shot. Additionally, Joao Felix of team Portugal attempted two goals, but once again, the powerful, accurate goalkeeper Bono jumped into action, quickly blocking his shot.

Many had doubts about the Moroccan team, as the African and Middle Eastern nation has not been successful for a long time. The Moroccan team stunned the world with their string of victories, including a 1-0 victory over Portugal. The team even managed to knock Cristiano Ronaldo out of the tournament. However, winning was not the only important thing in Qatar; seeing the Arab nations, including Palestinians, Egyptians, Saudi Arabians, Lebanese, and more, that came hand in hand from all over the world to support the team is even more valuable than the World Cup trophy itself.