Morocco’s journey throughout the world cup was like a fairy tale. But fairy tale stories also need a protagonist character, who runs the show. For Morocco, there were few of them. To perform in the World Cup, one needs to focus on their strength, irrespective of how strong other teams are. That is why Morocco can perform and defeat teams much stronger than them.
Morocco was ranked 24th on FIFA World Cup ratings before the world cup qualification match.
It was a must-win game.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualification
25th March 2022: 1st Leg
DR Congo 1-1 Morocco
After getting behind in the game in the 12th minute, Morocco’s Tarik Tissoudali was able to score the equalizer in the 76th minute.
29th March 2022: 2nd leg
Morocco 4-1 DR Congo
This game was dominated by Morocco.
Azzedine Ounahi scored 2 goals in the 21st and 54th minutes.
Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi scored 1 goal each.
Morocco qualified for the World Cup 2022 with a 5-2 aggregate win.
1st June to 17th November
In between, Morocco played a total of 6 friendlies and 2023 AFCON qualification matches, where they lost only one friendly match against the United States.
Morocco reached 22nd rank in FIFA ratings before the World Cup.
FIFA World Cup Group Stages
23rd November 2022:
Morocco 0-0 Croatia
Morocco was able to draw the match with Croatia with their strong defensive game. The hero of the match was Youssef EN NESYRI and Selim AMALLAH for their pressure applied and sprints throughout 90 minutes.
27th November 2022:
Morocco 2-0 Belgium
It was the first upset of the tournament. Morocco beat Belgium with their clinical performance in every aspect of their game, specially set pieces. Romain Saiss scored the first goal in the 76th minute with the assist of A. Sabiri.
Zakaria Aboukhlal scored the second goal in 90+2 minutes to seal the deal with assists from Ziyech.
1st December 2022:
Morocco 2-1 Canada
Morocco comfortably won this game with two early goals by H. Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri in the 4th and 23rd minute respectively.
Morocco tops the points table in their group with 7 points. Without losing a single game, they qualified for the Round Of 16 after 36 years. The last time Morocco qualified for knock outs was in 1986.
Round Of 16
6th December 2022:
Morocco 0(3)-0(0) Spain
Morocco keeps on defending against Spain with utter discipline and the game goes to extra time.
No goals were scored, and the game went to penalties.
Yassine Bounou was the hero of the match with a hat-trick of saves in the penalty shoot-out.
10 December 2022:
Morocco 1-0 Portugal
After controlling the game through the defense, Morocco’s attacker Youssef En-Neysri just before the half time at 42nd minute got the assist from Y.A. Allah and the goal.
Morocco was playing in the semi-finals against all the odds and beating strong teams like Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.
15 December 2022:
France 2-0 Morocco
Morocco went 1-0 down in the 5th minute of the game. But, they showed a brilliant game of control and attacks. They keep on attacking but are not able to equalize.
In the 79th minute, France scored a second goal and sealed the win.
But, Morocco won the heart.
The most important part of their game was their defense. They only conceded one goal against Canada (that is also their own goal), before facing France.
The Dark Horses Of Morocco.
He has emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in World Cup 2022 with lots of crucial saves. Mostly in penalties.
He has controlled the whole game from the defense with his passes and line breaks to create chances of attack.
Most Attempted Line Breaks
Most Completed line breaks
He is the most essential part of the Morocco gameplay. He has created lots of chances with his crosses and attempts to keep attacking the opposition.
Most Attempts At Goal
Most Receptions Between Midfield and Defensive Line
He has done the most running for the team from defense to attack to be available in any situation to take the game forward.
Total Distance Ran
He is the young gun of the team who keeps pushing the opposition’s defense with his sprints and applied pressure.
Most Offers To Receive
Most Defensive Pressures Applied
Youssef En Nesyri
He has experience with Spanish clubs like Malaga, Leganes, and Sevilla. Morocco scored 5 goals in the tournament.
Nesyri scored 2 goals.
Here are the stats of the Morocco team in the FIFA World Cup 2022
Attempt At Goal
Line Breaks Attempted
Line Breaks Completed
Completed Switches Of Play
Defensive Pressure Applied
Morocco will play against Croatia in the third-place play-off.
They have already drawn their last match against each other in the group stage.
Morocco’s goalkeeper is in the form of his life and looking quite relaxed. Morocco will try their best to be defensively strong to stop Croatia and wait for the midfield and attackers to give the finishing touch.
It is going to be a battle of Discipline, Effort, and Opportunities.
Morocco is the dark horse of the World Cup 2022.
The same kind of thing happened in 2002 when South Korea reached the semi-finals and lost to Germany 1-0.
After that, South Korea was never able to pass through the Round of 16 in ten years.
What do you think? Was it just the one-season miracle from Morocco or the beginning of a new success?
Share your thoughts.