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Morocco Make World Cup History, Advancing to World Cup Semifinals

Morocco Make World Cup History, Advancing to World Cup Semifinals article feature image
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Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images. Pictured: Badr Benoun.

Morocco have done it, defeating Portugal en route to the Semifinals of the 2022 World Cup.

Keeping Spain scoreless. Now keeping Portugal scoreless. What an amazing run by the Atlas Lions.

Morocco is the first African country to ever make it to the World Cup Semifinals after three others have fallen just shy, losing in the Quarterfinals before this year.

Entering the 2022 World Cup, Morocco was an astounding 250-1 to win it all in Qatar. Over the past 40 years, no country has made the Semifinals of a World Cup with longer odds than Morocco.

Morocco was 250-1 to win the World Cup entering the tournament…

That is the longest odds for a team to make the semifinals over the last 40 years 😳

(via @SOHistory) pic.twitter.com/8s1Hl8XzQe

— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 10, 2022

Prior to this unbelievable run by Morocco, it was South Korea 20 years ago who were 150-1 to win it all and made it to the Semifinals and lost 1-0 to Germany.

Not only were Morocco longshots in the future odds market, but they were +530 on the 3-way moneyline to advance today, giving them the longest odds to win a Knockout Round match since at least 1998.

Biggest World Cup Upsets — KO Round since 1998

  • +530 — Morocco over Portugal in 90 (2022)
  • +410 — France over Brazil in 90 (2006)
  • +400 — Croatia over Brazil in PK (2022)
  • +330 — Russia over Spain in PK (2018)
  • +330 — Croatia over Germany in 90 (1998)
  • +305 — Dutch over Brazil in 90 (2010)
  • +300 — Morocco over Spain in PK (2022)
  • +290 — USA over Mexico in 90 (2002)
  • +275 — Belgium over Brazil in 90 (2018)

One of the more amazing statistics behind Morocco’s run to the Semifinals has to be related to their stout defense.

Aside from allowing an own goal against Canada earlier in the tournament, Morocco have now gone nine consecutive matches and 922 minutes since their defense has allowed a goal. You have to go all the way back to June 9th against South Africa in the 8th minute to find the last goal allowed by Morocco.

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