Diaspora

Ecstatic Moroccans celebrate World Cup victory over Portugal – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their team’s victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their team’s victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccan supporters arrive ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
A Moroccan supporter waves his national flag as he arrives ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
People celebrate in the Souq in Doha, Qatar after Morocco beat Portugal in a World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
People celebrate in the Souq in Doha, Qatar after Morocco beat Portugal in a World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Moroccan players celebrate in front of their supporters after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match against Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Morocco’s players celebrate after the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Morocco’s players celebrate after the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022, after their team’s victory against Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022, after their team’s victory against Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Ecstatic Moroccans poured into the streets of cities across the North African country and far beyond on Saturday, waving flags, honking horns and lighting flares to celebrate the national soccer team’s historic victory over Portugal at the World Cup.
Morocco beat the Portuguese 1-0 in Qatar, knocking Cristiano Ronaldo out of the tournament and making the Atlas Lions the first African and first Arab team to reach the World Cup semifinals.
The capital, Rabat, was bursting with joy while Morocco fans also celebrated in the streets of Doha and in cities across Europe, where many Moroccans live. Other fans from the Middle East and Africa who have adopted the Atlas Lions as their team were also jubilant.
“We were so stressed as if we were on the pitch with the players, but now we want the trophy,” said Mohamed Amine, celebrating in Rabat. “The players, this team lifted Morocco’s reputation high among the nations of the world.”
The victory has Morocco fans full of confidence for the days ahead. The team will face defending champion France in the semifinals on Wednesday.
“I am so happy that I don’t even know if I can express myself, but if we are here now, I believe that we can make it to the final,” Yasmine Benmehredj said during celebrations in the Moroccan capital. “I think we can win this World Cup.”
In Qatar, hundreds of elated fans clad in green and red outside Al Thumama Stadium celebrated Morocco’s win, chanting, ululating, banging on drums and waving the national flag. Some chanted: “Congratulations to us for this beginning! It will only go on and on!”
“This is unbelievable. It’s the first time ever,” said Saleh al-Rayes, a 27-year-old fan from Saudi Arabia in Doha.
As an Arab at the first World Cup held in the Middle East, al-Rayes said he feels a sense of inclusion and representation in the world of soccer, a spot that has been dominated by European and South American teams.
“You come in as an underdog and then you win. It’s Arab pride,” al-Rayes said. “All Arab countries were here in the stadium supporting Morocco.”
Palestinians packed cafes and a sporting hall, turned into a free World Cup viewing venue by Qatar for residents of the impoverished Gaza. Some held posters with Palestinian and Moroccan flags and a slogan that said: “One People, One Country.”
Morocco’s success has touched Palestinians since the players and many of their supporters expressed solidarity on and off the field during the World Cup. Palestinian flags were regularly featured in groups of Morocco’s supporters in Qatar and among fans celebrating in Europe. On Tuesday, some of the team’s players unfurled Palestinian flags on the field after they defeated Spain.
“It’s an indescribable feeling. I swear, it’s as if it’s Palestinians that were playing,” said Ibrahim al-Lilli, a Morocco supporter in Gaza.
Similar scenes were seen in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinians took to the streets, cars honking. In Nablus, video posted on social media showed groups of Palestinians chanting “Morocco!” under the watchful eye of Israeli soldiers across the street.
“It’s beautiful,” said 23-year-old Abdullaziz Errayes, who is from Libya and had his national flag tied around his neck like a superhero cape as he was leaving the stadium in Doha. “It’s the first Arab, the first African country to reach the semifinals. Morocco is representing us.”
Morocco’s phenomenal run also reverberated across Africa.
“Continental history!” the Confederation of African Football wrote on Twitter after Morocco’s victory.
“Historic and fantastic,” African Union chair and Senegalese President Macky Sall wrote in a tweet.
Musicians also underlined the significance of the victory for the continent.
“Africa stand up … what an incredible ride — keep it up gentlemen,” Haitian-born rapper and singer Wyclef Jean tweeted. Shakira, a Colombian pop singer with Lebanese roots, celebrated with a one-line tweet: “This time for Africa!”
Moroccans in Europe celebrated too. In Brussels, fans watched the game anxiously in cafes or outside in the December cold — and erupted in cries of joy as Morocco sealed its victory. Amid largely peaceful celebrations, police said 59 people were briefly detained and one arrested after minor skirmishes.
Paris saw a similar outpouring of exuberance on the Champs-Elysees. On the sidelines, riot police fired tear gas as some revelers threw objects, according to a police spokesperson.
But the celebrations were mainly joyful. In Tunisia, supporters of the rival North African team danced and chanted slogans hailing the Atlas Lions.
“It’s a source of pride the Moroccan team’s achievement, for the first time in the history of Arab and African football,” said Ahmed Ben Messaoud in Tunis.
___
Surk reported from Nice, France. Associated Press writers Luis Henao in Doha, Qatar, Cara Anna, in Nairobi, Kenya, Wafa Shurafa in Gaza City, Raf Casert in Brussels, Oleg Cetinic in Paris and Bouazza Ben Bouazza in Tunis, Tunisia, contributed to this report.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!

Take a look at FIFA requirements for World Cup stadiums and what happens next for Qatar’s venues.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement scored a hat trick to lead Portugal over Switzerland 6-1 and into the World Cup quarterfinals. Goncalo Ramos is a 21-year-old forward who only made his Portugal debut last month. He made his first start for his country by demonstrating the kind of clinical finishing Ronaldo was once known for. Ramos scored the opening goal in the 17th minute and added the others in the 51st and 67th. By that time chants of “RONALDO! RONALDO!” were swirling around the 89,000-seat Lusail Stadium. Ronaldo entered as a substitute in the 72nd.

Morocco became the first Arab nation and only the fourth African nation to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals by beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout. Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed their penalties for Spain. Sarabia hit the post and Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stopped the other two. The teams drew 0-0 in regulation and extra time. Morocco has been the biggest surprise of the tournament and will next face either Portugal or Switzerland. Morocco and Spain are close neighbors with a complex geopolitical relationship.

Japan scored twice early in the second half to come from behind to defeat Spain 2-1 in a result that put both teams into the last 16 of the World Cup. Ao Tanaka scored the winning goal from close range early in the second half. It took about two minutes for video review officials to confirm the ball hadn’t gone out of bounds before the goal. Álvaro Morata scored first for Spain in the 11th minute at Khalifa International Stadium. But Japan rallied after halftime. Ritsu Doan equalized in the 48th with a left-footed shot from outside the box. And Tanaka added the second one three minutes later. Germany was eliminated from the tournament even with a 4-2 win over Costa Rica in the other Group E match. A victory by Costa Rica would have eliminated Spain.

The final day of the round of 16 concludes Tuesday at the World Cup when Morocco faces Spain and Portugal goes head-to-head with Switzerland for the final two spots on the quarterfinals. Morocco is trying to secure its first appearance in the quarterfinals. The Atlas Lions topped Group F to reach the knockout round for the first time since 1986. The neighboring nations met in the teams’ final group game in 2018, which ended 2-2. Portugal heads into its match against Switzerland with all eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s rumored to be about to join a Saudi Arabian team. A poll in Portugal said most in his home nation don’t want him playing for the team. And Ronaldo angered his coach with bad body language when he was pulled from a loss against South Korea.

Christian Pulisic scored and the United States advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Iran.

Qatar’s last-minute decision to ban alcohol at World Cup stadiums has left Budweiser with loads of beer on its hands. The company has an innovative solution to offload it.

Neymar is expected to play in Monday’s round of 16 match against South Korea. He had missed two games of group stage play after injuring his right ankle in the opening game against Serbia. But he trained with Brazil two days in a row before the game and coach Tite said Neymar will start if he plays. Japan and Croatia meet for the first time in the knockout round of the World Cup. Japan is in the knockout round for back-to-back tournaments for the first time in team history and seeking its first trip to the quarterfinals in four tries.

Saudi Arabia scored one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever by beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday. Here’s the latest from Qatar.

Iran was reeling Tuesday from the humiliation of starting the World Cup with a lopsided 6-2 loss against England in a match overshadowed by protests on and off the field. Hard-line Iranian media are blaming the lopsided defeat on the unrest that has gripped the Islamic Republic since the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police. Iranian newspapers on Tuesday turned to the familiar tactic of accusing foreign enemies, including the United States, Britain and Israel, of stirring up protests to throw the national team off its game.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their team’s victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their team’s victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccan supporters arrive ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
A Moroccan supporter waves his national flag as he arrives ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
People celebrate in the Souq in Doha, Qatar after Morocco beat Portugal in a World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
People celebrate in the Souq in Doha, Qatar after Morocco beat Portugal in a World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Moroccan players celebrate in front of their supporters after their win in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match against Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Morocco’s players celebrate after the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Morocco’s players celebrate after the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022, after their team’s victory against Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022, after their team’s victory against Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Moroccans celebrate in Rabat, Morocco, Saturday Dec. 10, 2022 their teams victory over Portugal in the World Cup quarter final soccer match played in Qatar.
Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

source

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.