Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2022. 11:19 am CST.
Photo Credit: FIFA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Morocco defeated Canada 2-1 and qualified to the FIFA World as leaders of Group E with seven points. Since 1998 that Nigeria qualified as group leader, an African side had not qualified to the Round of 16 in the position.
43,102 fans crowded the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha to see the Moroccans celebrate their qualification.
The North African side secured their victory early as they pounced on a Canadian error.
A mistake by Canada in the back line in the 4th minute cost them the first goal. Goalkeeper Milan Borjan, trying to clear a backward pass, kicked the ball straight at Hakim Ziyech, who accepting the gift, floated the ball into the empty goal as Borjan back-pedalled.
In the 23rd minute, Youssef En Nesyri advanced between two defenders unleashing a potent right foot shot to the near post beating Borjan for the 2-0 lead.
Canada pulled one back in the 40th minute as Sam Adekube cut through the left flank going deep and making a cross into the box. Morocco defender Nayer Aguerd tried to clear but deflected the ball into the goal past Yassine Bono for the 2-1 score.
That was all Morocco needed to qualify tops of the group ahead of Croatia who drew 0-0 with Belgium and advance on five points. Belgium with four and Canada without any were eliminated.
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