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Boufal: Morocco in dreamland after World Cup win over Portugal - 'I don't want to wake up!'

3:21 PM MYT 11/12/2022
Sofiane Boufal and mother
Angers attacker Sofiane Boufal is still in 'dreamland' after Morocco defeated Portugal 1-0 to progress to the World Cup semis.
  • Boufal has been a regular for Morocco
  • The Atlas Lions are among the four remaining teams
  • Boufal expresses his feelings after Saturday's win

WHAT HAPPENED: Morocco defied the odds to advance from their group that had Belgium, Croatia, and Denmark in it. In the Round of 16, they eliminated Spain and on Saturday, they showed they mean business by claiming a 1-0 win over a fancied Portugal side to reach the semis.

It is the first time an African nation has reached the last four. Boufal, who plays for Angers in France, is still in dreamland after this achievement.

WHAT HE SAID: "It's crazy. We're living the dream and we don't want to wake up. I have goosebumps," Boufal said after the final whistle.

"Everything we have, we deserve. We work hard. It's not over. There's still the semi-final and God willing, the final."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 29-year-old has started in all five World Cup matches.

However, he is yet to register a goal or an assist, but his zeal in attack and in defending has ensured he has kept his place.

Morocco have kept four clean sheets at this World Cup, one more than they had recorded in their first 16 games in the competition between 1970 and 2018. In fact, their total of seven clean sheets is the joint-most by an African nation in World Cup history; level with Nigeria.

WHAT NEXT: Morocco will play France in the second semi-final scheduled for Wednesday. The latter, who are the defending champions, defeated England 2-1 to make it to the last four.