A closer look at the key men behind magical Morocco bid for World Cup glory

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Morocco’s emergence as the surprise package of the World Cup has seen them become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

They have beaten Belgium, Spain – on penalties – and Portugal on their historic journey into the last four.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the players who have helped them get there.

Yassine Bounou (Sevilla)

Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saves from Croatia’s Nikola Vlasic
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has conceded just one goal in five matches (Martin Rickett/PA)

Achraf Hakimi (Paris St Germain)

The right-back’s quality was not in question, considering for whom he plays, but his importance to the team has become increasingly evident as the tournament has progressed. Hakimi has been a driving force from deep on the right and his audacious panenka in the shootout win over Spain highlighted his confidence.

Sofyan Amrabat (midfielder, Fiorentina)

Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat tackles Spain's Sergio Busquets
Sofyan Amrabat’s midfield holding role is key to Morocco’s strategy (Nick Potts/PA)

Hakim Ziyech (winger, Chelsea)

Having returned from ‘retirement’ earlier this year after a fall-out with former manager Vahid Halilhodzic, Ziyech has flourished under Walid Regragui. He is the team’s joint top-scorer at the tournament with two but leads the side for crosses, shots on target and passes and his link-up play with Hakimi is pivotal.

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