(Subedited by Riley Finch)
Goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal secured Morocco a shock 2-0 victory as Belgium’s stuttering start to their 2022 campaign continues in the second match of Group F.
The victory leaves Group F very open and leaves Morocco with a shock bid to enter the last 16, the African side topped the table today with four points leaving Belgium in second with three points.
Croatia and Canada will play later today.
In the first half of the game, Roberto Martinez’s squad managed to compete and looked to capitalise on some early dominance, but the Moroccan defence was too hard to break through.
Morocco took the lead from Abdelhamid Sabiri through his brilliant free kicks, which curled into the post in the 73rd minute of the game.
After the first goal, Martinez’s, without delay, brought in their primary ‘weapon,’ Romelu Lukaku, but he did not have much of an impact on the game coming on with just ten minutes remaining.
As The Red Devils searched desperately for a late equalizer, Zakaria Aboukhlal put the game to bed by scoring Morocco’s second goal for the match in the 92nd minute.
Mohamedi El Kajoui searching long ball founds its way to Hakim Ziyech who cut the ball back to substitute Aboukhlal who took no time in firing the ball into the top corner of the Belgium net.
The North Africans couldve taken the lead much earlier in the contest minutes before half-time through Ziyech’s free kick. Unfortunately, after a VAR check it was found that Romain Saiss had been just offside.
Following the loss, the fate of the world-ranked number two side hangs very much in the balance and they will need to be much improved once again if they hope to advance to the last 16.
Depending on the result today, all four teams in Group F could qualify on the final day with group leaders Morocco facing Canada and Belgium facing the 2018 World Cup runners up in Croatia.