Youssef En-Nesyri may have headed Morocco into World Cup history but he did not know that his leap also set another landmark.
WHAT HAPPENED? The Morocco striker rose highest to head in Yahya Attiat-Allah’s cross to give the Atlas Lions’ a 42nd-minute goal which turned out to be the match-winner.
Unbeknown to him, the Sevilla striker also broke another record as he headed from a height of 2.78 metres, higher than Cristiano Ronaldo’s header against Sampdoria in December 2019 when he was playing for Juventus, which was just over 2.5 metres, according to beIN SPORTS.
WHAT DID HE SAY? “We are all happy, with a lot of joy for the victory,” the striker said after the match as quoted by Marca.
“I thank my teammates and the fans. After not being able to in 2018, I told my teammates that we were going to beat Spain and Portugal.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: En-Nesyri’s goal sent Morocco to the World Cup semi-final, making them the first African country to achieve such a feat while at the same time crushing Ronaldo’s hopes of a World Cup triumph before he retires.
Ronaldo was not on the pitch when his record was erased but he could not do much to change the tide after being introduced in the 51st minute.
The Morocco striker soared into the air in between defenders Ruben Dias and Pepe, and capitalised when Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa misjudged the cross to head home.
It was the second goal for En-Nesyri at the 2022 tournament, following his strike against Canada, which made him the first Moroccan to score at two World Cups.
WHAT’S NEXT? En-Nesyri is guaranteed a place in the starting lineup when Morocco face holders France in the semi-final on Wednesday.
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