Ahead of their historic semi-final game against defending champions, France, at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, former England striker of Nigerian descent, John c, has backed Morocco to beat Les Bleu and progress to the final of the competition, The APROKOVIBES reports.
Both sides clash on Wednesday (today) at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha.
Morocco have been the fairytale story of the World Cup, after becoming the first African nation to reach the semis.
Walid Regragui’s side have punched way above their weight so far, having topped Group F before defeating Spain in the last 16 on penalties and then edging Portugal 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
They, however, face a daunting test against the champions as they hope to reach the final, but Fashanu, in an interview with The APROKOVIBES, said he was confident that the Lions could beat France if they got rid of the fear factor.
“I like to think that Morocco’s Cinderella story can continue,” he said.
“Morocco can certainly beat France and make it to the final but if they will is a different ball game because this is very similar to what we saw when (Harry) Kane took the penalty for England in the quarter-finals. This is a man who scores every time, but the pressure and eyes of millions of people watching globally put him under immense pressure because if you haven’t been in that position it can be very worrying.
“And my only worry is that Morocco have never been in this position before and the pressure does mean a lot when knowing that millions of people are watching. They may be intimidated by a team that often plays in this stage, but if they can get past that and play their usual game, I believe they can beat France with their good football.”
Heading into today’s clash, France have won their last six knockout games at the global showpiece, beating Argentina, Uruguay, Belgium and Croatia in Russia four years ago and then disposing of Poland and England in Qatar so far and are aiming to become just the third nation to win back-to-back World Cups, with Italy achieving the feat in 1934 and 1938 before Brazil then joined the party in 1958 and 1962.
The North Africans are the first nation from the continent to reach a World Cup semi-final and this run in Qatar eclipses their previous best performance at the tournament, when they made it to the last 16 in 1986.
They however boast the best defensive record in Qatar, with just one goal conceded, that coming in the form of an own goal in their 2-1 win over Canada in their final group game, and even that was an own-goal.
France and Morocco have played each other seven times, the first meeting back in 1975, and Les Bleus have never tasted defeat, winning five, with the other two ending in stalemate.