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Marvellous Morocco claim maiden knockout berth



Tournament debutantes Morocco have defeated Colombia 1-0 and advanced to the knockout phase in a remarkable night of Group H fixtures that has seen pre-tournament favourites Germany knocked out.

The Atlas Lionesses began the brighter of the two sides, enjoying more possession and looking the side more likely to score. However, clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first half.

That was until Ibtissam Jraidi was bundled over in the penalty area moments before the break. Ghizlane Chebbak saw the subsequent penalty saved, but Anissa Lahmari was in the right place to poke home the rebound to give her nation a priceless lead and leapfrog Germany into second.

Colombia had several fantastic opportunities to equalise in the second half, but Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi was equal to everything thrown at her as the game ticked past the 100-minute mark.

The South Americans couldn’t find a leveller, meaning that Morocco – thanks in hand to Germany’s 1-1 draw with Korea Republic – advanced in second place behind Las Cafeteras.


Key stat

Against Korea Republic, Morocco became the first Arab team to win a match in tournament history. They have now become the first to make it past the group stage.

VISA Player of the Match

Anissa Lahmari (Morocco)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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