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  5. FIFA World Cup 2023: Morocco enter knockouts to create history, Germany suffer shock exit

FIFA World Cup 2023: Morocco enter knockouts to create history, Germany suffer shock exit

Group H teams Morocco, Colombia and Germany were all in contention to qualify for the last 16 from today's results.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale New Delhi Published on: August 03, 2023 21:10 IST
Khadija Er-Rmichi and Fatima Tagnaout of Morocco
Image Source : GETTY Khadija Er-Rmichi and Fatima Tagnaout of Morocco celebrating win over Colombia

Morocco stunned the football world by becoming the first Arab nation to reach the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup on Thursday, August 3. They beat the giants Colombia 1-0 to book a place in the last 16 from Group H of the tournament. But third-ranked Germany suffered a shock exit from the tournament after a 1-1 draw against South Korea on Thursday.

Germany, Colombia and Morocco were all in contention to reach the knockouts from their final group-stage games but very few would have tipped Morocco as favourites to progress. South Korea were knocked out early after losing their opening two games in Group H but they take down Germany in their last game to pull off another upset at Milton's Suncorp Stadium.

Two-time champions Germany have failed to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in nine editions of the tournament. They won the famous trophy in 2003 and 2007 and have reached the semi-final round on five occasions. 

Notably, Morocco are the lowest-ranked FIFA team participating in the tournament and lost their opening game against Germany by 6-0. But they stunned 25th-ranked South Korea in their second game to keep their hopes for knockouts alive. Germany lost 1-2 against Colombia in their second game which made the group interesting.

Star attacking midfielder Anissa Lahmari scored the only goal of the game in the extra time of the first half as Morocco held the South American side with some brilliant defending at Perth Rectangular Stadium. As expected, Colombia dominated the game with 61% of possession but recorded only three of 11 shots on target. 

Morocco will face fifth-ranked France in the last 16 fixture on August 8 in Adelaide. France remain unbeaten in this tournament and topped Group F with two wins and one draw. They beat Panama by 6-3 in their last group-stage game on Wednesday and will be favourites against Morocco to reach the quarter-finals stage.

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