The Moroccan National Team might have left the 2022 FIFA World Cup with no medals or tangible prizes, but their mark on the world is forever etched. Though the defeat against Croatia landed them a fourth-place finish, the Atlas Lions will depart Qatar as history-makers and record-breakers.
Morocco became the first Arab and third African team to reach the quarterfinal and the first Arab and African to reach the semifinals–an unforgettable run. In short, it was Morocco’s World Cup– everyone else was just living in it.
With supreme verve and fervor–against all odds and expectations–the Moroccan team left fans jubilant. Both on and off the field, there were some iconic moments for the team. From an undefeatable penalty shootout to warm celebrations with their mothers, here is a rundown of Morocco’s unforgettable moments during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Morocco stuns Belgium in a 2-0 win
Morocco have doubled their lead against Belgium in added time! #BBCWorldCup #BBCFootball #FIFAWorldCup
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 27, 2022
Morocco defeated Belgium, ranked by FIFA as world number 2 prior to the tournament, in a sensational 2-0 victory that qualified them for the knockout stage for the second time in theirhistory.
The penalty shootout against Spain
Morocco upset their northern neighbor and 2010 World Cup winner, Spain, in the round of 16 in a 3-0 win in a penalty shootout.
Moroccan players celebrating with their families
After their win against Portugal, Moroccan forward Sofiane Boufal brought his mother onto the pitch to celebrate with her after, while goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou shared his gloves with his son, and played with him on the field. Achraf Hakimi ran to celebrate with his mother after eliminating Spain from the World Cup.
Bono giving his Man of the Match award to Youssef En-Nesyri
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Morocco’s Bono gave his Man of the Match award to Youssef En-Nesyri after the win against Portugal. Bounou was also crowned Man of the Match after beating Spain, where he saved two out of three penalties, guiding Morocco to a historic win over Spain.
Celebrating with a Palestinian flag
Morocco’s players unfurled the Palestinian flag as they celebrated on the pitch, after they qualified for the quarterfinals.
Jawad El Yamiq kissing Pepe’s head after the Portugal defender missed a potential equalizer
Moroccan defender Jawad El Yamiq kissed Portuguese defender and second-oldest ever World Cup scorer, Pepe’s head after he missed a potential Portugal equalizer.