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The Atlas Lions Can Count on the Support of an Entire Continent

When Morocco face Spain for a place in the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday, they will be able to count not only on the support of thousands of traveling fans from the north-western tip of Africa, but indeed of millions across the entire continent. Because, after African champions Senegal were knocked out by England on Sunday, and with Tunisia, Ghana and Cameroon having failed to make it past the group stage, the Atlas Lions are the only African representatives left in Qatar. Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi and co have already made history at this tournament, becoming the first African team to win a World Cup group since Nigeria in 1998, ahead of heavyweights Croatia and Belgium. Now, should they overcome their neighbors from across the Strait of Gibraltar, they would be in with a chance of achieving what Ghana came so close to doing in South Africa in 2010: becoming the first African side to reach a World Cup semifinal.