AFCON 2024: Morocco cruise to 3-0 win over Tanzania

Shock 2022 World Cup semi-finalists Morocco cruised to a 3-0 win over 10-man Tanzania as they opened their Africa Cup of Nations campaign on Wednesday.




Captain Romain Saiss, Azzedine Ounahi and Youssef En-Nesyri all netted for Morocco in the Ivorian coastal city of San-Pedro, while Tanzania had Novatus Miroshi sent off.

Although an African powerhouse for decades, Morocco are seeking only a second Cup of Nations title, 48 years after lifting the trophy in Ethiopia.

Morocco sprang to international prominence just over a year ago in Qatar when they became the first ever African World Cup semi-finalists, eliminating Spain and Portugal along the way.

Wednesday's victory over Group F outsiders Tanzania was anticipated as Morocco are ranked 13th in the world, 108 places above the Taifa Stars.

Morocco began with seven of the team that started in the 2-0 World Cup semi-final loss to France in Qatar.

There were three La Liga players, two each from the Premier League and Ligue 1 and two with Saudi Pro League sides.

This contrasted sharply with Tanzania, whose line-up included Tarryn Allarakhia from English fifth-tier outfit Wealdstone.

The winger struggled in sweltering conditions and was replaced after 38 minutes, by which time Morocco were already ahead.

Hakim Ziyech, on loan to Galatasaray from Chelsea, lifted a free-kick over the defensive wall and when goalkeeper Aisha Manula failed to grasp it, Saiss converted the loose ball.

Tanzanian hopes of finding an equaliser suffered a huge blow with 20 minutes remaining when Miroshi fouled Ounahi and was sent off for a second booking.


'On a mission' 

Ounahi rounded off a fine move to make it 2-0 on 77 minutes, and the scoring was complete shortly after when En-Nesyri converted a low cross for a goal that was confirmed as onside following a VAR check.

"We're focused, we're on a mission here, and we have a status to live up to," admitted Morocco coach Walid Regragui.

"People are waiting for us to deliver, but we are keeping our feet on the ground and we respected Tanzania in this game."


Source: France24

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