Be brave and bet on Morocco upsetting Ronaldoless Portugal

Be brave and bet on Morocco upsetting Ronaldoless Portugal

It was American singer songwriter Wee Gee who once sang: “Hold on to your dreams, and life will shine on you one day….”

The Atlas Lions of Morocco are also entitled to dream after disposing of Spain in the previous round of 16 and, who wants to bet against them turning the world order on its head with against Portugal at the Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday?

The odds are certainly heavily stacked against the North Africans, ironically, they are the only Africans remaining in the tournament, but the manner in which they held their nerve against rampant Spain gives one hope that they are capable of holding a tiger called Portugal by the tail.

Yes, few are giving Morocco a chance in this clash with connotations of the Biblical David and Goliath, but history tells us that back during 1986, then led by Raber Madjer, Morocco nailed Portugal 3-1 in Guadalajara, Mexico, all those many years ago with midfielder Abderrazak Khairi snatching a brace.

Agreed, Portugal avenged that embarrassing defeat in Russia four years ago, grabbing a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of a Christiano Ronaldo special but who seems to be the bane of their troubles leading to Saturday’s clash.

Portugal are holding their heads high and giving the impression that the Ronaldo “incident” when he walked off the pitch in a huff and petulantly protesting his substitution will not affect them and that its business as usual.

But, rest assured that the ruckus that followed Ronaldo’s substitution after which he walked off the pitch and mumbled straight to the change rooms while openly displaying his displeasure, will loom larger than a shadow in the Portuguese camp.

Yes, coach Fernando Santos has been hugely praised for believing in the whole than pandering to the whims of Ronaldo, but the lead-up to their clash against Morocco must have rattled their cage and if they fail to suppress the simmering tension, then they would be a tasty lunch for the Atlas Lions.

Be brave and swim against the tide and while history tell us that no African country has ever reached the last four, why not bet on Morocco becoming the first?

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