Morocco and Portugal face off on Saturday in a World Cup soccer quarterfinal at Al Thumama Stadium.
Morocco finished in first place in Group F picking up seven points. Morocco looked good during the group stage, but most believed they would be knocked out in the first game of the group stage. Against Spain the defense was strong and after 120 minutes the game was 0-0. In penalty kicks they scored three goals, while not giving up any, and that clinched their spot in this tournament. Morocco only had 23 percent of the possession and two shots on target, but all that matters is they are through. Defender Nayef Aguerd had to leave the last game because of injury and it’s unclear if he’s going to be able to go in this game.
On the other side of this matchup is Portugal finished in first place in Group H picking up six points. There was all kinds of chatter in the last game about Ronaldo moving to the bench, but it worked out well. Portugal scored six goals against Switzerland and that led to the five goal victory. Goncalo Ramos scored in the 17th, 51st, and 67th minute to pace the team. Ronaldo came off the bench. Portugal had 47 percent of the possession and nine shots on target. There is no way that Ramos is getting benched now, so it will be Ronaldo that is going to come off the bench again here. Joao Cancelo also got the start in the last game, and it’s expected that he gets the start again in this game.
This is an elite Morocco defense and the best chance to get through is probably to get all the way through to the penalty kicks. I expect Morocco’s defense is going to be good here, and it wouldn’t shock me at the end of 120 minutes if the score is 0-0. This game is going to be lower scoring, and the under is going to cash here.