Morocco’s World Cup qualifying journey as they face Eritrea in their quest for 2026 tournament glory. Morocco, a team that made history at the World Cup, is getting ready to start its journey to qualify for the 2026 tournament. They will face Eritrea, a team much lower in FIFA rankings, as they kick off their quest. The first two out of ten matchdays for the World Cup qualifiers in Africa are set for November 13-21. After facing Eritrea, Morocco will visit Tanzania, which could be a tough challenge.
Last December, in Qatar, Morocco did something incredible. They became only the third team from outside Europe and South America to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. The other two were the United States and South Korea. Morocco pulled off some stunning results in Qatar. They surprised everyone by holding Belgium to a draw and even beat Croatia in the group stage. Then they knocked out Spain and Portugal in knockout matches. Their dream run ended when they faced France in the semi-finals.
Morocco’s Performance in World Cup
Morocco’s journey to the semi-finals was even more impressive when you look at their past World Cup performance. Before Qatar, they had played 16 World Cup matches across five tournaments and had only won two of them. They lost nine. So, Morocco didn’t seem like a team that would go far. What made their achievement even more remarkable was the late change in their coach. Walid Regragui took over from Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic just before the tournament.
The success in Qatar can be credited to some outstanding players like Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Sofyan Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, and Youssef en-Nesyri. These players not only showed their individual skills but also inspired their teammates to rise above expectations.
Morocco is focusing on the 2026 World Cup
Now, Morocco is focusing on the 2026 World Cup. They start with the World Cup qualifiers in Group E. Alongside them in this group are Eritrea, Tanzania, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville, and Niger. To secure a spot in the finals, Morocco needs to finish at the top of their group.
Considering their recent success and their top seed status, Morocco is expected to do well in this group, which runs from November to October 2025. However, they should watch out for Zambia, led by the talented Patson Daka, and an improving Tanzania, who could pose the biggest challenges.
Morocco isn’t the only team eyeing World Cup qualification. Other strong African teams like Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mali are also aiming for the top spots in their groups to secure automatic qualification.
These teams, just like Morocco, will begin their campaigns by playing the lowest-ranked team in their group at home. Then they’ll go on the road to face the team ranked fourth. The groups were determined based on FIFA rankings. Interestingly, Mali, despite being top seeds, have never played in a World Cup before.
Cameroon is a team with a rich World Cup history, having made eight appearances. They are in Group D with Cape Verde, Angola, Libya, Eswatini, and Mauritius.
Nigeria, another football powerhouse in Africa, has qualified for the World Cup six times but missed out on Qatar after losing a playoff against Ghana. This time, they are eager to secure their spot but could face tough competition from South Africa and Zimbabwe in Group C.
Ghana, on the other hand, is expected to be a significant challenge to Mali in Group I. This group also includes teams like Madagascar, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, and Chad.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, the first sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the World Cup in 1974 when it was called Zaire, is capable of giving Group B favorites Senegal a tough time.
Algeria, who missed out on the Qatar World Cup after losing a playoff to Cameroon, will keep an eye on Guinea, a team that can be unpredictable, in Group G.
The competition for World Cup spots is intense, and it doesn’t stop with the group winners. The four best second-placed teams will enter playoffs, and the winners will participate in a six-team intercontinental tournament. This tournament offers two World Cup spots.
The road to the 2026 World Cup promises to be an exciting and challenging journey for Morocco and the other African teams. Football fans, both in Africa and around the world, are eagerly waiting for the action and excitement that these qualifiers will surely bring. Morocco, as a team that made history by reaching the World Cup semi-finals, is determined to continue their success and secure their place on the global stage once again.