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World Cup: Morocco's fairytale run will inspire an African team to reach final - Sunday Oliseh

11:46 AM GMT+4 16/12/2022
Morocco players celebrate Achraf Hakimi's winning penalty.
Nigeria legend Sunday Oliseh believes Morocco's run in this World Cup will push African nations to perform better in subsequent editions.
  • 'Underdogs' Morocco reached World Cup semis
  • Oliseh impressed by achievement
  • Believes ceiling has lifted for African teams

WHAT HAPPENED: Morocco defied the odds to reach the World Cup semi-final - a first for Africa in general, where they fell 2-0 to defending champions France.

In previous World Cups, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal had made it to the last eight while in this edition, only the Teranga Lions and the Atlas Lions made it out of the group with the former crashing out in the Round of 16 after a 3-0 loss to England.

The Nigeria legend Oliseh now believes Morocco's achievement will act as an inspiration to other nations in the continent to target the final.

WHAT HE SAID: "The essence of having records is to push people to break them," Oliseh told BBC Sport Africa.

"So if your record has only been the quarter-final, the aim will be to get to the semi-final. The new ambition is now no longer just the semi-final, the ambition now is getting to the final."

AND WHAT IS MORE: The former midfielder is impressed with the way the North Africa nation played in the tournament, despite getting knocked out by France.

"It was a great performance; bowing out the way they did was great because they were not dominated. On the contrary, they had chances to score. They worked hard and for me, it has been a great tournament and something exceptional for the African continent."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco topped their pool, beating the likes of Belgium and Canada while drawing with Croatia to accumulate seven points.

In the Round of 16, the Walid Regragui team eliminated Spain before getting past Portugal in the last eight to set up a meeting with Les Bleus.

IN TWO PICTURES:

WHAT NEXT: After falling to the defending champions, Morocco have an opportunity to finish third when they play Croatia on Saturday.