Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat said Morocco was living a “dream” after progressing to the World Cup semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday.
Youssef En-Nesyri put the Atlas Lions ahead with a towering header on the stroke of halftime and they defended resolutely thereafter to become the first African team to reach the semifinals of football’s showpiece tournament.
“It’s really unbelievable, I’m so proud. It’s like a dream – unbelievable we’re in the semifinal,” the 26-year-old Fiorentina player was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
“We deserve this, 1000%. How we fight, how we play, with our heart for our country for the people – it’s unbelievable.”
The Atlas Lions have conceded just once this tournament – an own goal against Canada in the group stage.
Morocco had just 26% of possession and nine shots on goal at Al-Thumama stadium, three fewer than their opponents. But the team’s watertight defense again proved the difference as Portugal heaped on the pressure in the final minutes.
“Our spirit, we have injuries, three defenders came in and how they defend, big respect,” Amrabat said. “Respect everyone, the coach, the team, the staff. It was like we played at home, thank you for all the people.”