29/05/2024

Canada claim first place of Group F to advance to the knockout stage. (Image: FIFAWORLDCUP/Twitter)

Morocco has claimed the top of Group F with a thrilling 2-1 win over Canada to qualify for the Round of 16 after brilliance from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En Nesyri.

The scenes for Morocco were ignited from the beginning of the game, claiming the first goal of the game in the 4th minute with a chip from Ziyech over Canada’s goalkeeper Milan Borjan on the counter-attack, exposing poor ball control from the Canadians.

This put pressure on Canada to respond and with Morocco pushing their attack wide, they struggled, unable to have a goal attempt on target for the entire match.

The wait for Canada to respond would continue, with En Nesyri being able to finesse and score a goal with a hard kick to the bottom right corner from a long through ball from behind the halfway mark of the pitch in the 23rd minute.

In this game, En Nesyri shined with his goal to put them up 2-0 in the first 25 minutes of the game and also created two free-kick opportunities for his team, being a facilitator and spark in their attack.

En Nesyri was close to having a second goal of his own, however, it was disallowed as he was offside from the free kick.

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Canada’s efforts would finally spark an opportunity in the 40th minute, after a cross from Sam Adekugbe would be turned in by Nayer Aguerd who was trying to clear it out and saw it slip through the hands of the goalkeeper, making it an own-goal that would keep Canada in the game.

This scoreline would continue to remain the same for the rest of the game, with Canada having their biggest opportunity in the 72nd minute of the game to even the score up when a header by Atiba Hutchinson hit the crossbar and bounced on the goal-line.

Like a lot of their opportunities, Canada were able to move the ball to the player with the best opportunity but weren’t able to execute the finish in between the goals they were looking for. 

Canada also did not create many opportunities through Alphonso Davies, with their play struggling front and back and the star struggling to remain involved in the contest.

Morocco now will face the runner-up of Group E while Canada is eliminated from the World Cup, being defeated in each of the three games. 

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