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Coach Walid Regragui expressed confidence that Morocco will have the support of the entire continent as they aim to make history by becoming Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalists, facing Portugal on Saturday.

Set to compete against Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium, the North Africans hold the distinction of being the first Arab nation to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, having secured victory over Spain in a penalty shootout during the last 16. A potential semi-final matchup against either England or France awaits, offering not only a chance at advancement but also a place in the annals of history.

The quarter-final stage proved to be the final hurdle for notable African teams in past World Cups, with Cameroon in 1990, Senegal’s 2002 squad, and Ghana’s 2010 team all experiencing elimination at this crucial phase.

“We have nothing to lose. The challenge is to do as well as we did in the previous games,” Regragui said on the eve of the match against Portugal.

“We want to show that Africa deserves to be here, Morocco deserves to be here.

“We have a whole people behind us, a continent behind us and the Arab world behind us. That’s a lot of energy behind us. We’re going to try and do everything we can.

“We can do it, we can make history again. It (the support) can push us, help us actually to play with this pressure, not to make any mistakes.”

Morocco have the best defensive record in the tournament, having conceded only one goal in their four matches.

But Regragui warned, “We can’t rest on our laurels. We haven’t got carried away, we’ve just surprised a few people and a few algorithms who expected Belgium or Spain to be in the quarter-finals.”

AFP

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