09 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views


DOHA. Morocco head into a World Cup quarterfinal against Portugal tomorrow with high hopes of becoming the first African nation ever to seal a semi-final spot.

It has been a superb run to this point and they have done the continent proud already. We add up the numbers on their campaign in Qatar to date.

0 – No opposition player has netted against Morocco at the World Cup so far. The only goal they conceded, against Canada in their final pool match, was put into his own net by defender Nayef Aguerd.

1 – Coach Walid Regragui is the first African tactician to lead a side to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) all had foreign coaches from outside Africa in charge.

1 – Morocco are the first north African side to reach the World Cup quarterfinals and the first Arab nation of any kind. It is fitting that their progression came in the first Arab World Cup.

1 – Yassine Bounou became the first African goalkeeper to save a penalty in a shoot-out in the knockout rounds in the last 16 clash against Spain.

2 – Striker Youssef En-Nesyri is now the joint leading scorer Morocco at World Cups with his two goals drawing him level with Abderrazak Khairi (1986), Salaheddine Bassir (1998) and Abdeljalil Hadda (1998).

3 – The quarterfinal against Portugal will be Morocco’s third meeting with the European side at the global finals. The African nation won 3-1 in 1986 but lost 1-0 in Russia four years ago. Both games were in the group stages.

3 – Morocco have only had three corners all World Cup, less than one per game!

4 – Morocco’s four goals in Qatar have all come from different players – Romain Saïss, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Youssef En-Nesyri and Hakim Ziyech.

5 – Morocco are now unbeaten in five World Cup matches (W2 D3), beating their previous best run of four games played in the 1970 and 1986 tournaments.

7 – Morocco are the first African team to gain seven points in the group stages of a World Cup following their wins over Belgium (2-0) and Canada (2-1), and draw with Croatia (0-0).

7 – Right-back Achraf Hakimi and playmaker Hakim Ziyech are now joint first in the list of most matches played for Morocco at a World Cup. They have each featured in seven.

8 – Morocco have managed eight goal attempts per match in Qatar, scoring on average one goal a game.

16 – Morocco have had 16 attempts at goal from both inside the box and outside the box, for a total of 32 in their four games.

17 – Right-back Achraf Hakimi has made more tackles than any other player at the World Cup in Qatar. His 17 is four ahead of Frenchman Ibrahima Konate and Morocco teammate Moussair Mazraoui, who are next on the list with 13.

23 – Morocco only had 23 per cent of the ball possession in their last 16 clash against Spain, but held firm with their defensive shape, as they have all tournament.

346 – The number of passes per match Morocco have managed in this World Cup. That is on the low end. – Mzansi Football

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