AFCON: Morocco Secures Chance to Qualify for Knock-out Stage

The Moroccan national football team Friday escaped debacle as it outclassed Togo in the second match of the group, a crucial stage to harness hope for potential qualification for knock-out stage.

The 3-1 win over Emmanuel Adebayor-led Togo team did not come easy. Togo’s right wing Mathieu Dossevi scored an early goal messing Atlas Lions’ nightmare following a defeat against DR Congo’s Leopard during their first match.

The score from Dossevi’s boot was sending Morocco clearly out of the competition.

The 11-men led by Herve Renard quickly took stock of the situation to square up to the Togolese team. Two headers first from Aziz Bouhaddouz and from Romain Saiss set the Atlas Lions on a way out of national disappointment. They took the lead, controlling the game with a good team play.

The former Gunners striker, Adeyabor sought to break the Moroccan defense but the Moroccan side bolstered the defense with Juventus right back and captain Benatia ruining all attempts by the Togolese team.

Morocco finished the job during the second half after substitute Youssef En-Nesyri took a short from distance to seal Morocco’s lead. Togolese veteran goal keeper Agassa failed to stop the ball running low. The goal set Moroccan side on a winning course.

Thanks to the win, the North African team emerged from the bottom to occupy the second spot in the group right behind Congo and in front of reigning champions Côte d’Ivoire still struggling to clinch their first win.

The Elephants drew with group leader Congo 2-2 after equalizing two times.

Morocco now can decide on their faith. A win or a draw with Côte d’Ivoire Tuesday against a draw between Togo and Congo sends the Moroccan side to the knock-out stage of the African Cup of Nations.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3765 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network