Morocco will play agains France in the Semifinal / Image : Martin Meissner/AP

Morocco became the first African team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals after defeating Portugal 1-0 on Saturday. Before Walid Regragui’s side eventually ended the continent’s lengthy wait for a semi-final position, three African sides had fallen in the quarter-final round.

Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010 all had excellent tournament runs but were unable to advance past the last eight.

The Atlas Lions have been one of the tournament’s storylines, drawing with fellow semifinalist Croatia in the group stage then defeating Belgium, Spain, and now Portugal on their way to the semifinals.
“Before, it was only Moroccans who supported us; today it’s Africans and Arabs,” manager Walid Regragui said before the quarterfinal, referring to the electric atmosphere that has accompanied his club at every game this season.

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