Fifa World Cup: Morocco fly the Arab flag high by qualifying for the knockout stage

Forward Youssef En-Nesyri doubled the lead in the 23rd minute

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Morocco's forward Youssef En-Nesyri celebrates scoring his team's second goal. Photo: AFP
Morocco's forward Youssef En-Nesyri celebrates scoring his team's second goal. Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 1 Dec 2022, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Dec 2022, 9:48 PM

Arab nations have been making waves at the Fifa World Cup in Qatar so it was only fitting that they will be represented in the knockout stage of football’s showpiece event with that honour going to Morocco.

The North African squad have consistently played a high level with a draw against 2018 runner-up Croatia and a 2-0 drubbing of the world’s second rank team Belgium in earlier Group F fixtures.


However, it was their resolute 2-1 victory over a stubborn Canada that saw the Atlas Lions fly the flag for Arab pride as they qualified for the last 16, knockout stage of the tournament.

Achraf Hakimi struck in the fourth minute before Youssef En-Nesyri made it 2-0 with his 23rd minute goal.


Nauef Aguerd’s own goal in the 40th minutes was the only saving grace for Canada, who already having been eliminated were hoping to go home with a consolation win.

This is the second time in history that Morocco have qualified for the second stage of the World Cup following 1986 where they lost 1-0 to the then West Germany.

Knowing that a point will be enough to book their place in the second round ahead of one of the two European giants, Belgium.

The African nation have never conceded defeat to Canada in their previous three encounters, all of which were not in tournament action but international friendlies.

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