Morocco scores 2-1 against Brazil in Tangier on Saturday, a significant triumph against the five-time world champions. Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri delivered an impressive performance, earning Morocco their first victory against FIFA’s top-ranked side. The win comes as a significant statement after Morocco’s outstanding performance during the Qatar 2022 campaign.
The sold-out Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, packed with 65,000 cheering fans, provided an electric atmosphere. Brazil appeared to be on the offensive, but Morocco’s dangerous counter-attacks kept them in the game. The match nearly turned contentious when the Brazilian players began to complain after a few bad tackles from the local defenders.
In the 13th minute, Palmeiras winger Rony, on his Brazilian debut, missed an easy goal from close range. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou almost immediately gifted a goal to Brazil with a comical mistake in the 22nd minute, but defenders quickly prevented the ensuing shots. Morocco went on to take the lead when Bilal El Khannous assisted Boufal, who scored from close range. Hakim Ziyech missed two chances before half-time, while goalkeeper Bounou denied a Rodrygo strike.
Brazil found the equaliser in the 67th minute, thanks to another mistake by Bounou who inadvertently let in a shot by Casemiro. However, host nation Morocco quickly regained the lead when substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri scored an unstoppable goal from close range. In doing so, Morocco demonstrated pride in their historic run in Qatar that inspired tears of joy across Africa and the Arab world.
Regragui: Victory during Ramadan means a lot
Morocco head coach Walid Regragui demonstrated his elation over the team’s successful performance during Ramadan. He commented: “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.”
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