- Morocco astonished many by reaching the semis
- Before this edition, no African team had reached the last four
- Klinsmann insists Morocco should be proud
WHAT HAPPENED: Morocco lost to Croatia 2-1 on Saturday to finish fourth in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The African nation fell behind to Josko Gvardiol's strike after just seven minutes. However, Moroccan defender Achraf Dari equalised two minutes later.
Mislav Orsic then scored what turned out to be the winning goal just three minutes to the end of the first half.
Croatia, eventually, finished third and went home with a bronze medal while the impressive Moroccan side finished just outside the podium places.
Despite their achievement, it was obvious from final-whistle reactions that the players were not satisfied with their performance. Nevertheless, Klinsmann believes the Atlas Lions conquered the world.Backpage
WHAT HE SAID: "Give Morocco a couple of days rest then they will realise they have conquered the world and showed that a North African team can go far, their first time into the final four and they can be proud," the now 58-year-old told BBC One.
He further opined why Morocco could not get the result they desired on Saturday, "Their last piece was lacking... they did well but you never had the feeling they would win the game.Backpage
"The quality of the players in Croatia develops year after year. Their shirt represents everything, that's how they play and their hunger is just endless."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In the past, the likes of Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana have been lauded for reaching the quarter-finals of the prestigious global competition in 1990, 2002, and 2010 respectively.
However, after Morocco reached the semi-finals, the bar has been set higher and it will be interesting to see how teams from the continent will perform in the subsequent World Cups.
WHAT NEXT: Morocco will now hope to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Ivory Coast. Qualifiers resume in March; where the Atlas Lions are in Group K alongside South Africa and Liberia.