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2022 World Cup: Morocco may be intimidated but they can beat France with their good football - Fashanu

5:34 PM SGT 14/12/22
Morocco players.
Former England striker John Fashanu believes Morocco have what it takes to defeat France and reach the final of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
  • Morocco finished group matches without defeat
  • Beat Spain in the Round of 16 to reach quarters
  • Floored Portugal to set up a semi-final date with France

WHAT HAPPENED? The Atlas Lions will become the first African team to play in the semi-final when they take on France at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday.

Ahead of the fixture, the 60-year-old Fashanu, who is of Nigerian descent, is confident the North Africans can weather the storm and reach the final.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “I like to think that Morocco’s Cinderella story can continue,” Fashanu said as quoted by Punch.

“Morocco can certainly beat France and make it to the final but if they will is a different ball game because this is very similar to what we saw when [Harry] Kane took the penalty for England in the quarter-finals. This is a man who scores every time, but the pressure and eyes of millions of people watching globally put him under immense pressure because if you haven’t been in that position it can be very worrying.

“And my only worry is that Morocco have never been in this position before and the pressure does mean a lot when knowing that millions of people are watching. They may be intimidated by a team that often plays in this stage, but if they can get past that and play their usual game, I believe they can beat France with their good football.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco finished their group matches without suffering defeat. They kicked off with a 0-0 draw against Croatia, stunned Belgium 2-0 before defeating Canada 2-1.

In the Round of 16 fixture, they came up against Spain and won 3-0 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in normal and extra-time, and then defeated Portugal 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? They will hope to go a step further in the global competition when they come up against the world champions on Wednesday.