Ighalo bets on Morocco to surprise Portugal

Previous Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo believes Morocco can surprise the 2016 European champions when they meet at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday (today), reports PUNCH Sports Extra.

Morocco became the second African team after Nigeria to defeat Spain at the FIFA World Cup after they beat the 2018 winner 3-0 on penalties after regular time ended goalless on Tuesday.

Each of the three previous African teams to reach the quarterfinals were eliminated in the quarterfinals, with Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) falling at this hurdle.

Ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final clash in Qatar, the Al Hilal striker admits the Atlas Lions have the quality to top Africa’s best World Cup feat.

Both teams have met twice in the World Cup. In the 1986 edition, Morocco defeated Portugal 3-1 while in the 2018 edition in France, Portugal beat Morocco 1-0.

Until now, Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana were considered the best African teams at the World Cup, but for Ighalo, the success of African teams in Qatar is something he watches closely, including Morocco.

“Against Portugal (in the quarterfinals) it’s going to be hard, but in football anything can happen,” Ighalo told The Athletic.

“Names don’t play football: if you work hard and give your all on the field, you have every chance to go through, so a mistake could cost any team. then i wish

“Morocco all the best, but as an African I hope the best man wins.”

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