Morocco are second African team to reach World Cup qualifying final round

Morocco are second African team to reach World Cup qualifying final round
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Morocco became the second nation to guarantee their place in the third and final round of the African Qualifiers of FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022, after beating Guinea 4-1 in Rabat on Tuesday night in a rescheduled matchday 2 Group I match.

Substitute Selim Amallah brace, Ayoub El Kaabi opener and another sub Sofiane Boufal acrobatic kick were enough to give Morocco their fourth win in as many matches, while Mamadou Kane scored Guinea’s consolation goal.

The win took Morocco to maximum 12 points, eight more than second-place Guinea Bissau with two games remaining, as the Atlas Lions joined Senegal in the final round scheduled in March 2022.

Despite playing in their capital Rabat, Morocco were considered visitors, as Guinea opted to play there due to political situation at home that caused the game to be rescheduled from the past month.

The game’s first chance fell to Morocco after 15 minutes, when substitute Selim Amallah, who was on the pitch for less than a minute, passed to Imran Louza, whose shot missed the target narrowly.

Morocco took the lead after 20 minutes. Achraf Hakimi’s cross from the right side found Ryan Mmaee’s whose header rebounded from the crossbar, only for El Kaabi’s to send another header that passed the line to give the Atlas Lions a deserved lead.

Against the run of play, Guinea equalized at the half hour mark. Amallah lost the ball to Mamdou Kane and the right back sent a shot from 25 yards that was deflected by Romain Saiss to deceive Yacine Bono in goal for Morocco and make it 1-1. It was the first goal Morocco concedes in the qualifiers.

Three minutes before halftime Morocco restored the lead. Louza’s free-kick was met by Soufiane Chikha who headed to Amallah to send home from close range.

After the break, Mohamed Kamara shot from the edge of the box could have gave Guinea an equalizer after 57 minutes but the ball went just wide.

And it became 3-1 after 65 minutes. From a corner kick Louza found Amallah whose shot rebounded from the crossbar into the net to complete his personal brace.

A minute from full time, substitute Sofiane Boufal put the icing over the cake with an acrobatic bicycle kick finish from Faycal Fajr cross, as Morocco qualified to the final round in grand style.

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