Morocco Dec 1, 2022; Doha, Qatar; Morocco forward Yousseff En-Nesyri (19) and forward Abdelhamid Sabiri (11) celebrate after winning a group stage match against Canada to finish in first place in their group during the 2022 World Cup at Al Thumama Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Few had Morocco getting out of their group, much less winning. But by taking it one game at a time, Morocco persevered on the world stage and overpowered the defending World Cup runner-up and the number two team in the world (by FIFA ranking) to win Group F.

Morocco’s path began with a respectable 0-0 draw to Croatia and then a 2-0 victory over Belgium. Entering the final game, Morocco was third in the group, but they hadn’t allowed a goal and faced (no offense, Canada) the weakest team of the three Morocco would meet in their group.

In fairness to Canada, they were inches from an equalizer but ultimately fell short in a 2-1 loss to Morocco after Canada’s lone goal resulted from a Morocco own goal. With seven points, Morocco was in a prime position to win the group as long as Croatia and Belgium drew.

Over at Croatia-Belgium, Belgium did everything but score. That included Romelu Lukaku almost destroying the post with a hard-hit shot. Instead, the two teams played to a 0-0 draw, which resulted in Morocco passing both teams and Belgium being eliminated.

This means Morocco’s round of 16 opponent will come from the runner-up in Group E. Before Costa Rica plays Germany and Japan goes against Spain, Spain leads the group with four points while Japan and Costa Rica are tied for second with three. Germany tails the pack with one point, but all four teams have a chance to advance or be eliminated.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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