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How Regragui challenged Morocco to overcome Portugal in World Cup quarters: Atlas Lions had to write history for Africa

12:30 GMT+4 11/12/2022
Walid Regragui, Morocco
Morocco coach Walid Regragui has revealed he challenged his players to make Africa proud ahead of their quarter-final match against Portugal.
  • Morocco were underdogs against a quality Portugal side
  • En-Nesyri won it for the African nation
  • Regragui reveals pep talk

WHAT HAPPENED: Morocco made history by becoming the first-ever African nation to qualify for the World Cup semis after defeating Portugal 1-0 in the quarters on Saturday.

Youssef En-Nesyri handed the Atlas Lions the historic win when he headed in Yahya Attiat-Allah’s cross in the 42nd minute after Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa failed to deal with the ball.

Regragui has now revealed what he told his players ahead of their game against A Selecao.

WHAT HE SAID: "We came up against a really great Portugal team," Regragui told the media after the match.

"We're drawing on all we have, we still have guys injured. I told the guys before the match we had to write history for Africa. I'm very, very happy."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Regragui is the first African coach to have achieved the fete. Since the start of the campaign, the North Africans have conceded just one goal and have managed to get past heavyweights Belgium and Spain.

Whether they get into the final or not, Morocco have already won the hearts of many fans owing to their heroics.

IN TWO PICTURES:

WHAT NEXT: The Atlas Lions will hope to continue with their adventure in Qatar when they play defending champions France on Wednesday.