• From Doha to Casablanca, Arab world erupts in joy
  • Ronaldo in tears as Portugal go out
  • France beat England to make last 4
Morocco’s extraordinary run in Qatar continued Saturday as they claimed another massive scalp in beating Portugal 1-0 to become the first African and Arab country to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The Atlas Lions will face France in the semi-finals, who defeated England 2-1 in the day's other match.

A hugely significant victory broke new ground for the game outside of Europe and South America, who have been the dominant force in the sport, winning all 21 previous editions of the World Cup.

Youssef En-Nesyri’s 42nd minute goal at Doha's Al Thumama Stadium means Morocco are only the third country outside of Europe and Latin America to reach the last four, after the US at the first World Cup in 1930 and South Korea, co-hosts when they got to the semis 20 years ago.

It is a result with major significance for the world game, providing proof that the gap between the top teams and the rest is closing and handing new hope to many countries who might have felt World Cup success was beyond them.

"I told my players before the match we had to write history for Africa,” said Morocco coach Walid Regragui, who only took charge of the team three months before the tournament.

Saturday's victory for Morocco comes on top of their win over second-ranked Belgium in the group phase and penalty shootout success against Spain in the last 16.

But against Portugal, despite their pre-match protestations about fatigue, they were more ambitious. They looked for counter attack opportunities while soaking up the pressure with resolute defence.

They have conceded only one goal in their five games at the tournament, keeping at bay some of the tournament’s top names.

Portugal had their chances but not enough to panic the Moroccan backline, who were without the injured Nayef Aguerd and lost skipper Romain Saiss to a thigh injury after halftime.

The Moroccan victory sparked massive celebrations around the Arab world, with fans taking to the streets in large numbers to mark the famous occasion.

On the other hand, the match marked a possible end to Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal career, with the striker reduced to tears as he walked down the tunnel at the end of the game.

His 196th international appearance as a second-half substitute gave Portugal a temporary lift. But there would be no be no fairytale ending for the 37-year-old.

Later, Olivier Giroud scored the winner and Harry Kane missed a late penalty at Al Bayt Stadium as holders France beat England 2-1 in a tense World Cup quarter-final.

Aurelien Tchouameni had swept France into a first-half lead only for Kane to equalise from the spot nine minutes into the second half.

England were the better side for long stretches of the game at Al Bayt Stadium but, almost from nowhere, France went back in front when Giroud headed home with 11 minutes left.

Kane than blazed his second penalty of the game over the bar as England's wait to win a first major international trophy since the 1966 World Cup goes on.

France, though, remain on course to become the first side since Brazil 60 years ago to successfully defend the World Cup.

Argentina will take on Croatia in the other semi-final.
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