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How did Morocco advance to the semifinals of World Cup bracket?

The Moroccan side took down Portugal to become the first-ever African nation to advance past the quarterfinals. We break down their road to the semifinals.

QATAR-DOHA-2022 WORLD CUP-QUARTERFINAL-MAR VS POR Photo by Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via Getty Images

Morocco have already made history by becoming the first-ever African nation to reach the semifinals in a World Cup tournament, and now they’ll look to take it even further as they face off against France on Wednesday in their semifinal matchup. It won’t be an easy task as the defending champs are heavily favored to win, priced at -185 on the moneyline as opposed to Morocco at +600 in regular time. A regular time draw is +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook for Wednesday’s match.

Let’s take a look at how Morocco advanced to the semifinals of the World Cup bracket.

Morocco’s path to World Cup semifinals

Ranked No. 22 in the FIFA world rankings, Morocco stunned everyone by finishing on top of Group F as they advanced along with Croatia, sending Belgium and Canada home. They opened the group stage with a scoreless draw against the Croatians, followed by a huge 2-0 victory over No. 2 Belgium. They finished up the group stage with a 2-1 win over Canada.

They met up with Spain in the round of 16, defying the odds again as they finished 120 minutes with a scoreless draw and headed into penalties. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou turned in some heroics as he saved two shots while the post kept one out, resulting in Morocco advancing with a 3-0 win in the shootout.

Portugal was their next opponent in the quarterfinals, when they shocked the world yet again as a goal from Youssef En-Nesyri would prove to be the match winner as Portugal failed to find the back of the net. Morocco cruised to a 1-0 victory, sending Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese side home.

The Moroccans have defied the odds every step of the way throughout this tournament, and they’ll look to do it again as they face off in the semifinals against France, who will be looking to defend their title from the 2018 World Cup.