S Originals

Morocco Becomes First African Country In A World Cup Semifinal

5 Mins read

Morocco deserve more, Hello there, guys. Welcome back to StiG. Welcome back to brand new content! I hope all of you are doing well today. I was waiting to give you guys a video after everything was done today, but I’m sorry, I can’t hold it. I need to get this video out. Morocco deserves a video of their own. They do.

And the heroics that they’ve done for them are absolutely incredible. So I thought I’d drop my thoughts about Morocco now. I’ll give you a video later on, after Morocco vs. France is done. England has one hell of an opportunity here. But I have to talk about Morocco and dedicate an entire video to what we have just witnessed. Morocco one, Portugal zero. Morocco becomes the first African country in a semifinal. Unbelievable. And you could label this however you want.

first African country. first Arabic-speaking country. first Muslim country. But it’s ticked all the boxes, and I want to take a moment. I have to take a moment, especially, because obviously I’m rooting for England. We are one blood. We are one blood with the same people. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and even more probably some parts of Egypt. We are one blood. When they do well, we do well.

When we do well, they do well. And to see Morocco accomplish this semifinal of the World Cup, I didn’t think this would happen. No one thought this would happen. Let’s be honest. But to see it happen in the same way that I saw so many Moroccans proud and cheering us on Algeria, in 2014, we got to the last 16. For the first time in our history, we faced Germany.

We took them to extra time. The Moroccans that were with us when we won the African Cup, the Moroccans that were with us constantly, it’s only right. It’s only right that we repay the favor. So let all the Moroccans know: we are so, so proud of you. We are so, so happy. And you know what? It’s bittersweet. It’s bittersweet. Why? Because it does mean that whoever wins between England and France has to play Morocco in the semifinal.

And, yeah, it’s something that loads and loads of Moroccans have, Algerians have, Tunisians have, and Libyans have. So, yeah, they know. But you can research it if you’re not sure. To see Morocco in the semifinals is, for me, as I said, bittersweet because I want France to do well later. And France, if they get to the semifinal, well, it’s France versus Morocco, and I want Morocco to win the World Cup.

Yeah, obviously I want England to win the World Cup, as that is my country as well. But to have to knock Morocco out of the process is no. And you know what? Morocco might be England. The way Morocco is moving is unbelievable.

Let’s review the game today. What a performance! This Moroccan team really deserves the nickname “Atlas Lions.” They are the Atlas lions. They are the Atlas Mountains, which go across North Africa, mainly in Morocco, and are where the bulk of the Atlas Mountains are based.

They are the lions. Man, they really are. This is every single game. And when you look at who they’ve had to play, they’ve had to play Croatia, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. And now they’re in the semifinals.

Let’s be honest: out of all the teams that have made it this far, so far, Morocco deserved to win the World Cup. Let’s be real. Obviously, we’ll see what happens later between England and France. Only one has to go through. But Moroccans are an absolute bunch of warriors.

Reggie, the manager, has done a formidable job—an absolutely astonishing job. Tactically, I think he’s been spot on. His management and motivation of the group are second to none. He’s got everyone playing for each other—for him, for the country, for everybody. and it’s paying off. Defensively, Morocco are superb. 

Let’s talk about the goal. He went up to 2 meters, 78, 278 meters in the air to get a header. What? He just headed for the goal to win the game. I think that’s beaten Ronaldo’s jump that he’s so known for. Remember 255? I think it was. I think, yeah. Unless we went higher now, obviously, bearing in mind that unless we are taller, so that helps. But he did it. 278. The man’s leap was ridiculous. Great header. Down goes into the net to prove that this was a stunning defensive display from Morocco. 76%. Possession of the game went to Portugal, but the shots for both teams were exactly the same.

The only difference was that Portugal had two more blocked shots. But shots off target and shots on target were both the same. With 24% possession, Morocco did exactly what Portugal did. That tells you that they defended perfectly. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And they went down to ten men. Portugal, to be honest. Look, Portugal wasn’t bad. They weren’t bad.

There were moments that they were exploiting really well in midfield, specifically in the first half, where they would find the space in midfield in order to transition and start launching attacks. They try to get the ball. The only difference was Portugal up top. They weren’t potent at all. Felix had a couple of chances; he actually had three.

Gonzalo Ramos didn’t have the same influence that he did in the last game. None. The defense was locking everything and everyone off so well that they didn’t even have to press high. Morocco had players that sometimes would launch zesh, and you’d see a couple of other players that would go in for the press, but they wouldn’t move the entire team high. And in that first line of attack, we have the chance to defend against Portugal if they’re coming with the ball.

They weren’t really being aggressive. It was almost like they were telling Portugal, “Yeah, come.” You can reach our midfield; you can reach our back line; you ain’t getting through. They weren’t trying to defend from the front because every time Portugal actually came in and started to attack and pulled themselves up, Morocco knew that they had enough to defend, took the ball off them, and started launching a counterattack. And it worked to perfection. Some people say that’s risky because you’re allowing your opposition to get too close. And yes, it’s true. But they really didn’t have space. They didn’t have any space to shoot, time to think about what to do, or clear-cut chances. Other teams, I feel, would have used them in his field to try and defend and press the opposition a little bit high in order to protect their defense. Morocco just felt like they didn’t have to do that. They’re like, “We’ll do it the other way around.” Come and get it. Come to us. We’re waiting.

We’re waiting. Defense and goalkeeper, we’re ready. Come to us. And then they will take the ball, launch it, and see who’s bombing forward, whether it’s Buffalo on the left or Yesh on the right. Hakimi supporting some of the combinations they would move with in order to get space was fantastic. The only thing in the second half was fatigue, and you could see it kick in: injuries, hamstrings, dead legs, players not reacting, quick city mistakes, fatigue, dead legs, and it’s completely normal. So they resorted to the lads being one, they’ll go up and defend to park the bus. And they did. And it wasn’t even just parking the bus; they were waiting and waiting for the opportunity. They took the risk.

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