RABAT, Morocco ( Associated Press) — Excited Moroccan flags, horns and flares overflowed the streets of its capital and cities in the North African country on Saturday to celebrate its national team’s victory over Portugal at the soccer World Cup in Qatar .
Morocco defeated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 1–0, eliminating them from the tournament and becoming the first African team and the first Arab team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Rabat, the capital, erupted in joy, and celebrations were also held in the streets of Doha and European cities where large Moroccan communities live. Fans in the Middle East and Africa who have made the Atlas Lions their own also expressed their happiness.
Celebrating in Rabat, Mohamed Amin said, “We were as tense as we were on the pitch with the players, but now we want the cup.” “The players, this team, have raised the prestige of Morocco among the nations of the world.”
The Moroccan fans are full of confidence facing the next few days. The team will face France in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
“I’m so happy I don’t even know if I can express myself, but if we get here, I think we can make it to the finals,” Yasmine Benmehredj said during the ceremony in the Moroccan capital. Huh.” “I think we can win this World Cup.”
In Qatar, hundreds of fans dressed in green and red celebrated in front of Al Thumama Stadium, singing, hooting, playing drums and waving the national flag. Some said: “We congratulate ourselves on this beginning! It will go on and on!”
“It’s unbelievable. It’s a first,” said 27-year-old Saudi fan Saleh Al-Rayz in Doha.
Al-Rayz said he felt a sense of inclusion and representation in a world of soccer that, until now, had been dominated by European and South American teams.
“You come as an insured loser and you win. This is Arab pride,” said Al-Raj. “All the Arab countries were here in the stadium supporting Morocco.”