Morocco teach Walid Regragui stated his facet are “the Rocky Balboa of this World Cup” after the Atlas Lions have become the first African team ever to reach the semi-finals with a stunning victory over Portugal on Saturday.

The harm-hit North Africans hung on for a 1-0 victory at Al Thumama Stadium to installation a closing-four conflict towards France, after Youssef En-Nesyri’s headed purpose late in the first 1/2.

The win over Portugal came after knocking out Spain within the final sixteen on consequences and beating the world’s second-ranked group Belgium within the institution level.

“When you watch Rocky, you want to support Rocky Balboa due to his tough paintings and commitment and I think we’re the Rocky Balboa of this World Cup,” Regragui told newshounds.

“We’re turning into the group that everyone loves at this World Cup, because we are showing that even in case you do not have as lots expertise, if you show that choice, coronary heart and perception, you could gain.

“I’m positive lots of you will say this is a miracle, however we’ve got won with out conceding against Belgium, Spain, Portugal and that is the end result of hard paintings.”

Morocco will tackle holders France on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium with the danger to emerge as the first country from outdoor Europe or South America to reach the final.

“We can dream, why shouldn’t we dream about winning the World Cup?” introduced Regragui, who most effective took over as coach in August.

“It would not value you some thing to have dreams. European nations had been used to prevailing the World Cup…

“We’ve performed a few sincerely top sides, but to this point we have not completed something.

“Anyone who plays us now will need to be on the pinnacle in their recreation to conquer us, it may not be smooth for them, that is the message I’m trying to ship out.”

Morocco had already handed expectancies by turning into most effective the fourth African united states and first Arab country to reach the sector-finals.

But they managed to go one step in addition than Cameroon in 1990, Senegal’s 2002 side and the Ghana group of 2010.

“We got here up towards a simply first-rate Portugal crew. We’re drawing on all we’ve, we nevertheless have guys injured. We have a mind-set,” Regragui told France’s TF1.

“I advised the men earlier than the in shape we had to write history for Africa. I’m very, very satisfied.”

Regragui, a France-born former Morocco international, had already made history of his own because the first African teach to take a team into the World Cup sector-finals.

Morocco had been without injured defenders Noussair Mazraoui and Nayef Aguerd on Saturday, while captain Romain Saiss changed into stretchered off early inside the 2d 1/2.

“We’re very proud because the players who did are available in did a outstanding process,” said Regragui. “We’re a 26-guy squad and to get a long way in this event we’re going to want all of them.”

Morocco nonetheless have the nice protective file within the World Cup. The only time they have got conceded in 5 suits turned into an personal purpose towards Canada.

“It’s loopy. We’re residing a dream and we do not need to awaken. I even have goosebumps,” stated winger Sofiane Boufal.

“Everything we’ve, we deserve. We work difficult. It’s no longer over. There’s nevertheless the semi-very last and god willing, the very last.”

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