World Cup 2022, Canada-Morocco 1-2: Africans in the round of 16

Goals from Ziyech and En Nesyri decide which allow Regragui’s team to finish at the top of group F. Now Spain

Fairytale Morocco: wins and qualifies for round of 16 of the World Cup for the second time in its history. Now Spain. At the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Regragui’s men they beat Canada 2-1and they close group F in first place. The goal of Ziyechwho in the 4th minute takes advantage of Borjan’s mistake, and the goal in the 23rd minute by En Nesyri. The momentary 1-2 of the Canadians who shorten thanks to theAguerd’s own goal on Adekugbe’s cross.

Rejoice the Morocco who flies to the round of 16 from first class and finds Spain on his way. On the other hand, say hello to the competition Canada who closes the group with 0 points. In Doha the North Africans won 2-1 and accessed the next phase after thirty-six years. The Lions of the Atlas start strong and immediately unlock the match: Ziyech picks up a bad check from the Canadian fullback Borjan and, with a lob from distance, in the 4th minute the Chelsea forward sent the ball into the empty net. Regragui’s formation deservedly doubles in the 23rd minute with En Nesyr. In the end of the half the Canadians shorten the distances: Aguerd deflects the cross by Adekugbe towards his own goal and beats his goalkeeper. In added time En-Nesyri found his personal brace but Aguerd’s offside nullified the Moroccan striker’s goal.

In the second half the formation of Herdman he enters the field with a different “grip” and completely besieges the Moroccan half of the field: Canada attacks head-on and comes close to equalizing in the 71st minute. Hutchinson headed the crossbar from close range: the ball rebounded off the line and Morocco saved their lead. The Lions of the Atlas are getting close to the third goal with a counterattack by Hamdallah that wastes and is recovered in the final. Canada attacks but fails to find a draw, finishing in last place in group F. Fly, however, Morocco, which centers the qualification ahead of Croatia and eliminates the first “big” of the competition: Belgium.

Canada (3-4-3):
Borjan 5, Miller 6, Vitoria 6, Johnston 5.5, Hoilett 6 (76′ Wotherspoon 6), Osorio 6 (65′ Lareya 6), Kaye 6 (60′ Hutchinson 6), Adekugbe 6.5 (60′ Koné 6 ), Buchanan 6, Larin 6(60′ J. David 6), Davies 5.5. Extras: Pantemis, St Clair, Piette, Fraser, Cavallini, Ugbo, Millar, Cornelius, Waterman. All.: Herdman 6
Morocco (4-3-3): Bounou 6, Hakimi 6.5 (85′ Jabrane sv), Aguerd 5.5, Saiss 6, Mazraoui 6.5, Ounahi 6 (76′ El Yamiq 6), Amrabat 6.5, Sabiri 6 (65′ Amallah 6) , Ziyech 7 (76′ Hamdallah 5.5), En Nesyri 7, Boufal 6(65′ Aboukhlal 6). Extras: Munir, Tagnaouti, Harit, Chair, Ezzalzouli, Dari, Cheddira, El Khannouss, Benoun, Attiat-Allah. All.: Regragui 6,5
Referee: Claus (Bra)
Marker: 4′ Ziyech (M), 23′ En Nesyri (M), 40′ auto. Aguerd,
Ammonites: Hoilett (C), Osorio (C), Adekugbe (C), Vitoria (C)
Note: recovery 5+4


• Morocco have qualified for the knockout stages of a World Cup for the second time in their history (the first was in 1986, when they went out to West Germany in the round of 16).
• Canada ends their World Cup with three defeats out of three, exactly as in their only previous participation (1986).
• Youssef En-Nesyri today becomes the first player in Moroccan history to score in two different editions of the World Cup (2018 and 2022).
• Morocco’s 7 points are a record for an African national team in a World Cup group stage.
• At this moment, this would be the second time since 2014 (Algeria and Nigeria) that two African teams have progressed through the group stage of the World Cup (Morocco and Senegal). Morocco are also the first African team to top their group since Nigeria in 1998.
• Hakim Ziyech’s goal after 3 minutes and 30 seconds is the fastest goal in Morocco’s World Cup history.
• Hakim Ziyech is the third Moroccan player to score both a goal and an assist at the same World Cup, after Mustapha Hadji and Abdeljalil Hadda, both in 1998.
• Hakimi and Ziyech become the first Moroccan players to boast six World Cup starts: they also now equal Mustapha Hadji for the most World Cup appearances for Morocco (all with six).
• Hakim Ziyech is also the third Moroccan player to score from outside the box at the World Cup, following Aderrazad Khairi in 1986 and Maouhoub Ghazouani in 1970.
• Aguerd’s own goal was both his 100th goal at this World Cup and his first own goal this season.
• Canada has been directly involved in the two fastest goals of this World Cup (Davies 2′ vs Croatia, Ziyech today).
• Canada have benefited from six own goals since the start of 2021, double the number in the previous 20 years (3).
• Canada have lost their first six World Cup matches, only the third team in the competition’s history to do so (Mexico – 9, El Savador – 6).

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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