mai 29, 2023

Morocco 2 – 1 Brazil

3 min read

Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri scored to give Morocco a 2-1 friendly win over Brazil in Tangier on Saturday, earning their first victory against the five-time world champions.

World Cup semi-finalists Morocco did not hold back and delivered a statement win against FIFA’s top-ranked side in their first game after an outstanding Qatar 2022 campaign.

Cheered on by 65,000 fans in a sold-out Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, Morocco tried to make a quick start but a steady Brazil held strong and the match almost turned into an ill-tempered affair, with the Brazilian players complaining bitterly to the referee after a series of bad tackles by the local defenders.

Brazil were more aggressive and controlled possession while Morocco were always dangerous on the counter-attack.

Sofiane Boufal opened the scoring for Morocco in Tangier

Palmeiras winger Rony, who was making his debut in his first call with the Brazilian team, missed a sitter from close range in the 13th minute.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou almost gifted Brazil a goal in the 22nd minute with a comical mistake while trying to keep the ball in play with his feet, but Rony’s shot towards an empty goal was blocked by a defender and Bounou managed to recover in time to save Vinicius Junior’s strike from the rebound.

One minute later, Bounou once again made a mistake by gifting the ball to Vinicius Junior who finished into an empty goal, but the effort was ruled out by the VAR due to a controversial offside in the build-up, with the Brazilian players berating the Tunisian official Sadok Selmi.

In the very next play, Emerson Royal lost the ball close to his own box and Morocco did not waste the golden opportunity gifted by the defender, with Bilal El Khannous assisting Boufal to score from close range.

Hakim Ziyech missed two great chances for Morocco before the break and goalkeeper Bounou denied a Rodrygo strike from the edge of the area with an acrobatic save.

Casemiro, Brazil
Casemiro equalised for Brazil before Morocco scored again 12 minutes from time

But Brazil found the equaliser in the 67th minute thanks to another mistake by Bounou, who failed to hold on to a weak shot by Casemiro and let the ball slip under him and inside the net.

However, the hosts hit back 12 minutes later with substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri, who took down a lost ball inside the Brazilian box and unleashed an unstoppable strike that bounced off the crossbar into the net.

Morocco, who became the first Arab team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals, once again pumped their supporters with pride after a historic run in Qatar that spurred tears of joy across Africa and the Arab world.

Regragui: Victory during Ramadan means a lot

Morocco head coach Walid Regragui: « We wanted to win after the World Cup and that’s what happened. We’re happy because it’s the first time that Morocco has beaten Brazil in history. They are the first in the FIFA rankings.

« Despite some of their players not being here, Brazil is still a very high-level team. We also have injuries but we showed our mentality to hang on.

« This is the month of Ramadan, we have to go and pray Tarawih to confirm if it’s true or not. Now we are going to celebrate but it’s a long way to go.

« We must not get on fire. When I say we must win the African Cup, they say that I am exaggerating. I must be careful when I say that we are not going to play for the win but we only play for happiness.

« We have to recover very quickly because we have another match against Peru in two days. We have to move on. I will see if I am giving other players some minutes who deserve to play.

« We have to think about the FIFA rankings. We must keep the team at the same level but let’s see. »

Source link