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Home   /   Belgium 0-2 Morocco Live match blog

By Edward Rourke

(Subedited by Riley Finch)

Hello and welcome to this live match blog of the Belgium Morocco game in group F. Belgium are looking to seal their place in the knockout rounds today with a win, and Morocco will be looking to add to the point they deservedly earned against Croatia in their first game.

Late team news. Bonou, who was originally in the Morocco starting line-up, has been replaced by Munir as there appears to be a problem with the Sevilla keeper’s eye.

1′ Kick off! We’re underway at the Al Thumama stadium, Belgium will be looking to book their place in the knockout rounds with a win today.

4′ Ziyech gets in his first cross of the game. It’s a low one looking for En Neysi but it’s cleared away by a man in red

5′ Corner for Belgium won by Michy Batshuayi. It’s a decent delivery by De Bruyne put into the danger area and its nodded behind for another corner. Morocco survive the first real Belgium attack of the game.

7′ As expected, Belgium beginning assert themselves on the match by controlling possession. Most Moroccan players are behind the ball.

10′ Foul on De Bruyne on the right of the box. This could pose a threat for Morocco with the Manchester City magician preparing to take it.

11′ Unfortunately for the red devils the cross is disappointing and its easily dealt with by a Morocco defender.

14′ Morocco struggling to get out of their own half at this point. Another freekick for Belgium in an enticing position. They need to be careful as giving away these cheap fouls is bound to lead to a goal eventually

16′ They try something different this time. Instead of sending the ball into the box, Thorgan Hazard finds his brother Eden, who lays the ball off for De Bruyne. His shot is low driven and goes behind for yet another Belgium corner.

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19′ Thomas Meunier somehow finds himself on the edge of the Morocco box after some pinball of possession. He unleashes his shot quickly before being closed down and his effort heads straight into the hands of the reliable Munir.

20′ Morocco’s main danger man Ziyech does his customary cutting inside move before attempting an ambitious shot from roughly 30 yards out. It sails over the bar with plenty of power, but it was never going to trouble Courtois.

22′ Courtois playing with fire on his own goal mouth there, En Neysri closes him down, but the Real Madrid keeper controls the ball away from him in calm and collected fashion.

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26′ The chances are fizzling out at the moment with neither team testing the opposition defence for a while. Belgium have been the more comfortable of the sides but they’re not playing the confident football that Martinez will have expected from them.

27′ Saying that, Morocco have a rare chance which leads to Selim Amallah blazing an effort well over the bar with a volley.

29′ First yellow card of the game goes to Amadou Onana. He climbs up for a header but uses his elbow in the process and the referee deems that to be too much.

32′ Shades of the former Eden Hazard there as he twists away from a defender before playing in De Bruyne. He spins with the ball and then offloads it down the right flank to Meunier, who puts tame low ball into the middle which is gobbled up by the goalkeeper.

35′ Hakimi has his first chance of the game here getting forward from wingback. He’s toom quick for th Belgium defender but he gets his shot all wrong as he hits it on the bobble, sending it into row Z.

38′ De Bruyne wins a freekick deep into the Morrocco half. This time he opts for a shot instead of a cross and it isnt too far off.

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40′ Just the one shot on target so far in a game that has been rather dominated by Belgium possession and set pieces, but no goals as of yet.

45′ Chance for Morocco on the cusp of half time as Ziyech wins a freekick and twisting and turning Belgium defenders inside out

46′ GOAL! Morrocco take an unlikely lead through one of their star men Ziyech. He has looked their most lively player so far and his freekick here goes over every player and dips as it approaches Courtois who can’t keep it out

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47′ GOAL DISALLOWED! Morocco hearts broken as VAR denies what would have been their first goal at this World Cup. The reason is because Roman Saiss interfered with play in an offside position. His body was placed in a way that obscured Courtois’ view of the ball which meant he couldn’t keep it out.

Half Time. Drama right at the end of the first 45 minutes here in a half that has been static at times, waiting to come alive. Morocco will feel hard done by, but the disallowed goal was probably the right decision. Belgium need to wake up in this second half as they once again haven’t been at their best. They have looked comfortable in possession, but they have struggled to translate it into effective chances.

45′ Second half starts. No changes by either team at the break.

49′ Morocco start the more promising of the two sides in the second half. Ziyech has another opportunity cutting in on his deadly left foot. He gets decent connection with the ball but can’t find a corner and Courtois collects.

51′ Eden Hazard picks up the ball on the right of the box and let’s fly with a stinging shot which has to be dealt with Munir. Corner Belgium.

54′ The game is heating up now and becoming more open. The fans are complimenting this shift in tempo too, rising the noise levels with their singing and chanting.

56′ Former Southampton man Boufal pops up in the Belgium box, cutting in from the left onto his right foot. It concerns Courtois who dives in anticipation but the ball flies past the right post. Not far off.

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59′ Double substitution for Belgium. Tielemans and Mertens are coming on for Onana and Eden Hazard. This could be a sign that Martinez has sensed the game is in danger of slipping away from them. Tielemans may be used to help them take back control of the ball and slow down the pace of the game.

63′ Boufal utilises some of his trademark flair with that move. He flip flaps past the Belgium defender to make some space for himself, but unfortunately for him his cross at the end of it can’t find a teammate and the attack fizzles out.

64′ Mertens gets involved already. He finds himself on the edge of the box and releases a fierce shot that’s drilled into the keeper who parries away. Could Mertens be the spark Belgium have been missing?

67′ Double substitution for Morocco now. Hakimi and Amallah make way for Attiat-Allah and Sabiri.

68′ Speculative effort there from Ounahi. He answers the crowd urging him to shoot but the outcome isn’t what he was hoping for. The ball travels high into the sky and probably hasn’t even come down yet.

71′ A further two changes for a Morocco side that is full of confidence at the moment. Boufal and En Neysri are coming off much to the crowd’s surprise, with Hamdallah and Aboukhal coming on as fresh legs. The former had been tormenting the Belgium defence since the whistle for the second half blew.

73′ GOAL! Another upset on the cards? Similar to the disallowed goal at the end of the first half. Morocco have a freekick after Meunier gave away a cheap foul. Sabiri made them pay with a shot that somehow makes its way through the crowd of players in the box. Courtois will be disappointed with that, but Morocco dont care. Belgium are in trouble now.

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75′ Belgium look to respond to that setback with some more substitutions. Thorgan Hazard and Batshuayi both come off for Trossard and de Ketelaere.

78′ Morocco make more changes. Ounahi is replaced by El Yamiq. This is a defender coming on for a midfielder, so there is a presumed change in formation for the winning side who aim to sure up their defence.

81′ Meunier, who’s had a horror show of a performance, is off for Romelu Lukaku. The big man is worth the risk in the eyes of Roberto Martinez in this situation as Belgium need to commit in these last 10 minutes of normal time.

81′ Just wide form Vertonghen from a corner.

83′ Time to park the bus for Morocco who since taking the lead have hardly touched the ball, they have every man back when Belgium progress into their half.

85’Aboukhal beast his man down the Belgian right-hand side before he meets Alderweireld whose crunching tackle stops any attacking threat from Morocco.

86’Axel Witsel concedes a foul on Ziyech as he pushes the Chelsea forward in the back for a Morocco freekick.

87′ A sense of desparacy in the Belgium team now as they begin playing with more urgency. They’re getting more men in the box for crosses, but the deliveries haven’t been good enough.

90′ Counterattack opportunity for Morocco. Belgium had thrown players forward which allowed a Moroccan attacker to run in on goal, but he is thwarted by Courtois

92′ GOAL! Absolute scenes in stoppage time! Morocco all but kill the game off with a massive goal that throws Belgium into a world of uncertainty. Hakim Ziyech works wonders down the right wing by beating Castagne with his trickery, he then had the compose to cut the ball back to Aboukhal who smashes his shot into the roof of the net. Belgium have been exposed.

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95′ FULL TIME! Upset complete. A huge result for Morocco who defy the odds to sweep aside the number 2 ranked team in the world. Belgium look far off their best, and their last game suddenly becomes a far more complicated matter. This group is finely poised.

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May 2024