After defeating both Spain and Portugal in the elimination rounds, Morocco accomplished the unexpected by making it to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semifinals. The Atlas Lions have defied every challenge placed in their path and stunned the world. Even though little was anticipated of them before the event.

They are not the first squad to defy the odds and advance far in a competition, though. Recall how Bulgaria defeated Germany with a soaring header from Iordan Letchov to advance to the USA 94 semifinals. Or was Croatia making history at the 1998 World Cup in France?

  • As the first African team to do so, Morocco advances to the World Cup semifinals.
  • Walid Regragui, the coach, has orchestrated a fantastic run.
  • Their actions are similar to past semi-final surprises.

We recall some of the more unexpected semi-final contestants from recent times.

Bulgaria and Sweden, 1994

Many countries made their World Cup debuts at USA 94, and the tournament is notable for its abundance of upsets.

Sweden and Bulgaria were not anticipated to advance past the first round, yet both did so. Sweden finished second in their group and went to the round of 16, earning five points along the way, including victories over Russia and draws with Cameroon and Brazil.

Croatia, 1998

Just two years after their first experience in a significant international competition in the 1996 UEFA European Championship, Croatia played in their first World Cup in France in 1998.

Korea Republic, 2002

Guus Hiddink, a Dutchman, was chosen to lead the Korean Republic after impressing. During his tenure as head coach of the Netherlands national team from 1995 to 1998. His team arrived for the 2002 tournament they co-hosted with Japan in top physical shape.