[골닷컴] Correspondent Kang Dong-hoon = Morocco broke all the expectations of experts and succeeded in advancing to the round of 16. It has been 36 years since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and it is the second knockout stage in history. It is also meaningful in that it beat out the prominent competitors in Group F and succeeded in advancing to the round of 16 in first place.
According to Opta, an actual sports statistics company, the probability of Morocco going to the round of 16 was only 29.3%. However, after drawing 0-0 with Croatia, Morocco produced a surprise defeat of Belgium 2-0, and succeeded in advancing to the round of 16 by capturing Canada on the same day.
Morocco won 2-1 in the final Group F match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar World Cup against Canada held at the Al Tumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar at 0:00 am (Korean time) on the 2nd.
Morocco, who won that day, advanced to the round of 16 by rising to first place in Group F (2 wins, 1 draw, 5 points). This is the first time in Morocco’s history that they have won two matches in the World Cup group stage. Not only that, they only have 2 total wins in the last 5 World Cups. It’s literally writing a new history in this competition.
Coach Walid Legraghi (France) took out a 4-3-3 formation. Sophia Bupal (Angers), Youssef En Nesiri (Sevilla), and Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) competed as three tops. Abdelhamid Sabiri (Huddersfield), Sofiang Amrabat (Fiorentina) and Azzedine Unahi (Angers) kept their backs.
From left, Nusair Mazrawi (Bayern Munich), Romain Sais (Besiktas), Naif Aguerde (West Ham United) and Ashraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain) formed the defensive line. Goalkeeper gloves were worn by Yasin Bono (Sevilla).
Against this, Canada came out with a 4-4-2 formation. At the forefront were Junior Hoillet (Reading) and Kyle Larin (Club Brugge). Alfonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Marc-Anthony Kay, Jonathan Osorio (above Toronto), and Stephen Vittoria (Chávez) applied. The goal was guarded by Milan Borjan (Zvezda).
As expected, Morocco, whose atmosphere was far ahead, took an early lead. In the 4th minute of the first half, in the defensive camp, in addition to Victoria’s back pass error, goalkeeper Milan Borjan also made a mishandling of the ball, and Ziyech calmly pushed it into the empty goal with a left-footed shot.
Morocco riding the flow scored an additional goal. In the 23rd minute of the first half, Hakimi, who was in the back, accurately connected a long pass to the front at once, and En Nesiri, who quickly penetrated between the defensive lines and caught the ball, bounced the net with a powerful shot.
But Canada wasn’t too bad. With a lucky comeback goal, they narrowed the gap and went on a chase. In the 40th minute of the first half, Sam Adekibi (Hataispor)’s cross hit Aguerd’s foot and led to an own goal. The first half ended with Morocco leading 2-1.
Manager John Herdman (England) made the replacement first. In the 15th minute of the second half, Ativa Hutchinson (Besiktas), Ismael Corne (Montreal), and Jonathan David (Lille) replaced Larin, Adeburki and Kay. Morocco also chose to change. In the 20th minute of the second half, Bupal and Sabiri were removed and Zakaria Abukral (Toulouse) and Selim Amala (Standard Liege) were added.
Entering the middle of the second half, there was a lull, and each other did not have a chance to shoot. No points were scored either. In the end, there was no change in the score in the remaining time, and the match ended with Morocco winning 2-1. Morocco advanced to the round of 16, and Canada was eliminated from the group stage.