With all the goodwill and spirit in the world, Walid Regragi’s boys, dubbed the surprise side of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, were unfortunately unable to secure a spot in the football tournament’s final game as Morocco, for the first time since the competition kicked off last month, suffered from its first loss to reigning World Cup champions, France, on Wednesday night in Doha.
Conceding two goals, one in each half, the Atlas Lions did not manage to keep their momentum going, after a series of prodigious back-to-back wins against Belgium, Canada, Spain, and Portugal, and are officially out of one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.
proud 🇲🇦 (still in denial)
— y^ (@1moreyass) December 15, 2022
A win against Les Bleus would have sent a strong message from supporters of the North African Kingdom, who collectively saw a historic and profound meaning in the much-anticipated fixture. After knocking out former colonizing powers, namely Spain and Portugal, out of the World Cup on their way to the semi-finals in preceding weeks, a triumph against France would have, at least virtually, set the records straight and served as superficial revenge for the decades spent under their dominance as well.
With one last game left, against 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia for third place this Saturday, fans, although devastated by the defeat, turned to Twitter, to honor, ironize, and share their two cents over yesterday evening’s match and the squad’s impressive run in the tournament.
Star boy of the competition Kylian Mbappé, who is close friends with Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi in real life, made a heartwarming gesture following the game’s final whistle, taking to the bird app to console his fellow PSG teammate — a curtsy not many other players have made since the World Cup began on Nov. 20.
Don’t be sad bro, everybody is proud of what you did, you made history. ❤️ @AchrafHakimi pic.twitter.com/hvjQvQ84c6
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) December 14, 2022
Other users of the social media website took the time instead to address, what in their eyes were, controversial refereeing decisions, claiming that most of the umpire’s rulings favored France and hindered Morocco’s chances of levelling up after Theo Hernandez’s early opening of the score in the fifth minute of the fixture.
2 penalties should have been called. That of Boufal and Amellah. Why was the VAR not consulted by the referee ???? #TeamMorocco_#FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/2yd9kVRH2t
— yassine el rhouass (@RhouassEl) December 15, 2022
the referee is pro baguette and anti merguez
— Soraya Bouazzaoui 🇲🇦 (@halalltakeaway) December 14, 2022
what’s this ref’s @? i just wanna talk
— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@Rowaida_Abdel) December 14, 2022
The result of the game obviously came with a handful of laughable content, despite the disappointment, including Tweets and memes about how fans are dealing with the unexpected loss, bashing France as a whole, and showing love and support to Argentina, the other finalists of the World Cup, that will face France on Dec. 18 for the ultimate prize.
— Farah-Silvana Kanaan (@farahkanaan) December 14, 2022
world cup is temporary but hatred for france is eternal
— Randa 🧉 (@rannnda) December 14, 2022
never touching a croissant again
— sami 🇲🇦🇲🇦🇲🇦 (@samisdaal) December 14, 2022
l’argentine do it for us.
— malak (@m4lqk) December 14, 2022
Yes, we might still have to wait a little longer until we see an Arab or African side lift the much-coveted World Cup, but one thing is for sure: Morocco might have lost the game but it certainly won the heart of the entire world.
Can’t be sad about 🇲🇦’s loss: they made WC history, played at the level of the best teams & players; they represented underrepresented parts of the world in football & brought together so many peoples. Morocco showed what’s possible & that must be celebrated. They made this WC.
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) December 14, 2022