Morocco World Cup win cheered throughout Africa, as continent will get its first semifinals spot


When the whistle blew on the finish of Morocco’s match towards Portugal in Doha on Saturday, marking the North African nation’s victory, cheers resounded throughout the African continent. The 1-0 win gave Morocco a coveted spot within the World Cup semifinals — the primary time a staff from Africa has ever reached that stage of the event.

“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Kwabena Yeboah, a Ghanaian sports activities commentator with Ghana’s public broadcaster, GTV, shouted on stay tv as he high-fived his panelists, unable to include his pleasure.

“Congratulations to our African brothers,” GTV Sports activities tweeted, together with the clip.

Morocco has had a shocking World Cup run, beating a sequence of European powerhouses: Belgium, Spain and now Portugal. Its success has stirred delight and uncommon unity throughout the Arab world, evoking, for some, an earlier period of Pan-Arab nationalism.

However Morocco can be an African nation — and its soccer fortunes, African followers say, belong to the entire continent, too. From Ghana to Kenya to Tunisia, Egypt and Somalia, soccer followers have rested their hopes on Morocco.

The final three African groups to succeed in the World Cup quarterfinals misplaced their matches, all in nail-biter endings: Cameroon went down, 3-2, to England in 1990; Senegal, 1-0, to Turkey in 2002; and Ghana on penalties to Uruguay in 2010. However on Saturday, with a aim from Youssef En-Nesyri within the forty second minute, Morocco delivered the feat that had eluded these groups earlier than it: a quarterfinals win that made historical past.

“You have truly made us proud #Morocco,” former president of Somalia Mohamed Farmaajo tweeted. “This is a testimony that Africa is rising & we are a force to be reckoned with.”

Samuel Eto’o, president of Cameroon’s soccer affiliation, wrote, “The entire continent is rooting for you.”

Nationalism abounds on the World Cup. All through the event in Qatar, although, Morocco head coach Walid Regragui has solid his staff as consultant of all of Africa.

“I’m not here to be a politician, we represent Morocco and obviously Morocco and Moroccans are my priority,” the French-born former Moroccan nationwide staff participant informed reporters earlier within the event. “But obviously, we’re also African like Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Tunisia, so we hope to fly the flag of African football high.”

For North Africans, the victory was additional candy. Vehicles honked on the streets of Casablanca in celebration. Cheers may very well be heard all through downtown Cairo, the place followers crowded into cafes and drivers beeped in celebration. In Tunis, crowds thronged in entrance of the Nationwide Theater on the Tunisian capital’s predominant thoroughfare, lighting flares and waving flags. In Tripoli, Libya, youngsters gathered in a public sq. had watched the match with bated breath. After Morocco’s win, they hoisted Moroccan and Libyan flags with elated grins.

On social media, some followers started recirculating pop star Shakira’s theme music for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).”

Shakira herself weighed in with a tweet: “This time for Africa!!”

Morocco will face both France or England — relying on which staff prevails of their quarterfinal match at present — on Wednesday. The winner of that sport secures a spot within the ultimate on Dec. 18.

“We can dream, why shouldn’t we dream about winning the World Cup?” Regragui, the Moroccan coach, informed reporters on Saturday.

Chuck Culpepper in Doha and Siobhán O’Grady in Cairo contributed to this report.

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