Preview of Morocco vs Portugal in 2022 FIFA World Cup: Date, Time, Team News, Predictions and Live Streaming

As the field continues to narrow and the World Cup trophy comes closer into sight, trailblazers Morocco meet quarter-final opponents Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday.

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Portugal showcased their promising young talent in their previous match against Switzerland, and they aim to replicate their success when they face Morocco in the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup.

Goncalo Ramos, a 21-year-old player, showcased his talent to the world by scoring a hat-trick in the Round of 16 match. He replaced the 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup for Portugal, while the renowned superstar observed the game from the bench.

The spectacular victory propelled Portugal towards a resounding 6-1 triumph, securing their place in the quarterfinals.

In a surprising turn of events, Morocco achieved a remarkable upset against Spain. Despite the formidable opposition, the Moroccan team held their ground and secured a 0-0 draw. Ultimately, they emerged victorious in the penalty shootout, thanks to the extraordinary skills of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who made two crucial saves. Additionally, luck was on Morocco’s side as Pablo Sarabia from Spain hit the post.

The Spanish national team struggled to find effective strategies to penetrate Morocco’s defense, while the Moroccan team displayed a greater potential for scoring opportunities.

The Moroccan national football team, known as the Atlas Lions, will be determined to make history by becoming the first African nation to reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup. However, they face a tough challenge in the form of one of the tournament’s most impressive teams.

What is the Date and Time of Morocco vs Portugal Match?

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The match between Morocco and Portugal is scheduled to commence at 3pm on Saturday, December 10th, 2022.

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Achraf Hakimi solidified his hero status by executing a skillful and precise finish to Morocco’s exceptional defensive performance on Tuesday. His well-placed “Panenka” penalty secured a 3-0 shootout victory over Spain, propelling the North African nation into the quarter-finals.

Despite facing a relentless and possession-dominant Spanish team, Walid Regragui’s side exhibited impressive resilience to secure a goalless draw. This paved the way for an exhilarating final period, in which goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s two penalty saves elevated him to the status of a legendary figure in Rabat, Marrakech, and beyond.

Being only the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals at a World Cup, and the first in 12 years, the electrifying moment at the Education City Stadium brought immense joy to the Moroccan fans, whose passionate support has been a remarkable highlight of this tournament.

Fernando Santos, the coach of Portugal’s national soccer team, displayed his strong leadership by benching the renowned captain, resulting in a significant victory for the team. This achievement stands as Santos’ most notable triumph since the team’s European Championship win in 2016. Recently, Portugal played against Switzerland and advanced into the quarter-finals of the Qatar 2022 tournament with an impressive performance.

The decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo, a veteran superstar, in favor of Benfica’s up-and-coming talent, Goncalo Ramos, proved to be a strategic move for a more agile and aggressive offensive approach. Ramos admirably filled the void left by the dethroned king.

The 21-year-old player showcased his talent and skills as he confidently scored the opener in an impressive manner. He continued to excel in Portugal’s 6-1 victory, achieving a remarkable hat-trick. This remarkable accomplishment marked the first treble of the tournament, a remarkable feat considering it was his first senior start.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

If there were any doubts about the current state of Portuguese football, Milan winger Rafael Leao solidified the belief that the future has arrived. His team’s dominant performance, which included six goals, caught the attention of the world.

Despite a late lapse in their match against South Korea when they had already secured qualification, Santos has led his team to safely advance as Group H winners in the World Cup’s first phase. With three wins and 12 goals, they now have a strong belief in their ability to win the championship for the first time.

Portugal, inspired by Eusebio and considered semi-finalists in 1966, have defied expectations with their success in winning both the Euros and Nations League despite their relatively modest population. Although they have achieved much at youth level, the Iberian nation has never reached a senior global final. However, their upcoming match against Morocco on Saturday provides an opportunity to edge closer to the ultimate goal in football.

The Moroccan national team, known as the Atlas Lions, have made history by reaching the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time since 1986. This achievement not only marks a significant milestone for Morocco, but also for the entire Arab world. Under the guidance of their coach, Regragui, the team has remained undefeated in their last five World Cup matches and impressively kept six clean sheets in their last seven games.

The Morroco national team has built a strong and cohesive defensive unit, thanks to the exceptional talent and dedication of players like Hakimi, Mazraoui, and their center-backs. Additionally, with Sofyan Amrabat as their tireless midfield anchor, this squad, consisting partly of talented individuals from the diaspora, has become known for its formidable defensive capabilities on the international stage.

In addition to triumphing over prominent European teams like Croatia and Belgium, they successfully secured the top position in Group F during the earlier stage of the competition. Hence, facing Portugal in the quarter-finals should not intimidate these underdogs.

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Photo: Bleacher Report
Photo: Bleacher Report

Morocco is facing several injury concerns after exerting considerable effort against Spain. The key players, Sofiane Boufal and Nayef Aguerd, were both forced to be substituted due to their injuries in the match against La Roja. The absence of Boufal would be particularly significant, as he has been performing exceptionally well as a midfielder in the World Cup.

The lack of Amine Harit, who was unable to participate in the tournament, has had a notable impact on Morocco’s ability to score goals.

There are no new injury concerns for Portugal ahead of this match. They will be without Diogo Jota, who was already ruled out before the tournament, as well as Nuno Mendes who sustained an injury during the Uruguay match and will not be able to participate further in the World Cup.

The primary concern lies with the fitness of Danilo, who is eagerly looking to recover from his broken ribs in order to make a comeback on the field. Additionally, it remains uncertain whether Ronaldo will feature in the match, especially considering his recent benching by coach Fernando Santos during the game against Switzerland.

Who Will Come Out Victorious in the Morocco vs Portugal Match-Up?

During the Round of 16 match, Morocco successfully held a formidable Spain side at bay, but not without exerting a significant amount of effort.

Portugal has demonstrated their ability to dismantle defensive formations, scoring two goals against Uruguay and overpowering a Switzerland that prioritizes a defensive approach.

Once Portugal scores their first goal and Morocco is forced to attack, this match will become fast-paced, which will benefit the European team.

The score prediction for the match between Portugal and Morocco is a convincing 3-0 victory for Portugal.

Charlotte Pho