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HomeSportWorld Cup Daily: Semifinals set as France, Morocco advance

World Cup Daily: Semifinals set as France, Morocco advance

Morocco upset one more European powerhouse Saturday, when it beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal 1-0 at Al Thumama Stadium. 

Nevertheless, its hardest problem so far is simply across the nook, as it’s going to play defending world champion France, which beat England 2-1, in Wednesday’s semifinal (2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

Here is every little thing that occurred on the World Cup on Saturday.

Morocco 1, Portugal 0

Going into Saturday’s match, Portugal was one of many hottest groups within the match, and it appeared prefer it had lastly discovered a substitute for Ronaldo’s goal-scoring in Gonçalo Ramos. Then Saturday got here, and none of that mattered.

Morocco, the one squad left within the match not ranked within the high 15 by FIFA, was medical within the counterattack and had 9 pictures on objective — and the one objective of the sport — regardless of dropping the possession battle 73% to 27%. It additionally held Portugal scoreless. Morocco has solely allowed one objective all match (an personal objective vs. Canada within the group stage).

With the end result, Morocco grew to become the primary African workforce to advance to the World Cup semifinals. Its subsequent opponent can be its hardest but, however nothing about what they’ve proven on the match suggests they will be afraid of the second.

As for Portugal, it’s going to look to the longer term, one which seemingly will not embody its legendary striker. By the point the 2026 World Cup rolls round, Ronaldo can be 41.

Morocco-Portugal highlights

Morocco acquired a objective late within the first half and saved Portugal off the scoreboard to earn a spot within the semifinals.

France 2, England 1

Regardless of its greatest efforts, France held off England to advance to the World Cup semifinals for the second consecutive match and the third time within the final 5 World Cups. The final defending World Cup champion to make a semifinal was Brazil in 1998.

England had a golden alternative to ship the sport to additional time with its second penalty kick of the night time, however Harry Kane — who has scored extra penalties than anybody in World Cup historical past and now extra objectives than anybody man in England’s historical past — sailed his try over his Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris in objective. 

Since 1966, no workforce that had been awarded two penalties in a single match had misplaced. Not the kind of historical past the Three Lions had been hoping to make Saturday.

It was a well-known end result for England at this stage of the match, nevertheless it got here near beating a France workforce that is thought-about nearly unbeatable at full energy.

England-France highlights

The defending champions marched on, holding off England.


Yassine “Bono” Bounou was the Man of the Match for Morocco once more Saturday and deservedly so; he simply continues to take advantage of unbelievable saves. He additionally grew to become the primary African keeper to document three clear sheets in a single World Cup.


Olivier Giroud got here via for France as soon as once more towards England, however had it not been for Antoine Griezmann’s excellent cross into the field, Giroud seemingly would have needed to pull one among his many acrobatic finishes out of his bag.


Aurélien Tchouaméni wasn’t even supposed to begin for France on the World Cup, however accidents to key midfielders — most notably N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba — pressured Didier Deschamps’ hand. 

Whereas Deschamps would nearly actually like to have somebody with Tchouaméni’s expertise accessible off the bench, it is protected to imagine he was completely happy to have him in his first XI on Saturday.


For those who requested synthetic intelligence to create probably the most comically French soccer fan, that is in all probability what it could seem like.

There are not any matches on Sunday, Dec. 11.

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