Pepe missed a late header against Morocco© Twitter
The FIFA World Cup 2022 has produced some dramatic results. In the quarter-final stage, Morocco produced one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history by defeating the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal. In the dying moments of the match, Portugal defender Pep missed a golden opportunity to put his team level, but what happened next wasn’t expected by anyone. Seeing Pepe let the opportunity of an equaliser slip by, Morocco star Jawad El Yamiq kissed the veteran defender’s head, thanking him for the misdirected header.
Morocco, courtesy of their stunning 1-0 victory over Portugal, became the first African team in history to qualify for the penultimate round of the FIFA World Cup. It was Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half header that gave Morocco the lead and the African side ensured that they kept it intact for the entire duration of the match.
Pepe, who had already scored in the Round of 16 match against Switzerland, couldn’t believe his luck as his header missed the target in the dying seconds of the match. El Yamiq’s kiss on his head proved how crucial the moment was for the African side. Here’s the video:
The best moment of the world cup for me is when this Moroccan defender kissed Pepe on his head for missing a free header in the dying minutes of additional time pic.twitter.com/zWAcq6d3pB
— FootballChampions (@ChampionsTV_) December 10, 2022
After the match, Pepe had expressed his frustration at the fact that Argentine officials were made in charge of Portugal’s semi-final clash against Morocco.
“It’s unacceptable for an Argentine referee to referee our game,” Pepe said on Portuguese television. “After what happened yesterday, with (Lionel) Messi talking, all of Argentina talking, and the referee comes here. What did we play in the second half? The goalkeeper dropped to the ground. There were only eight minutes of stoppage time. We worked hard and the referee (only added on) eight minutes.”
With Portugal’s defeat Pepe’s international career seems to have come to an end without winning a FIFA World Cup trophy.
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