Morocco’s last World Cup triumph came in 1998 when they defeated Scotland 3-0, capping the Scots’ last appearance at the tournament.
This is only Morocco’s third victory in World Cup history, the first coming in 1986 by beating Portugal 3-1.
Morocco broke the tie in the 73rd minute, when Serie A Sampdoria midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri fired a deflected free kick minutes after it was taken, and Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was put off by Moroccan defender Romain Saiss and he could only palm the ball. on the net Later, FIFA listed Saiss as the scorer.
It seemed a mistake by Courtois, whose positioning was questioned.
Zakaria Aboukhlal, also a substitute in the match, sealed Morocco’s glorious victory on 92′. A long goal kick from Munir El Kajoui was headed into his own goal by the Belgian defender. Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech capitalized on the loose ball, deflecting past Timothy Castagne and clipping the ball to Aboukhlal at the near post as the striker for Ligue 1 club Toulouse clipped the ball into the roof of the net.
There was a breath of sterile dominance about Belgium’s early game as they had more than 70 per cent possession of the ball, but Michy Batshuayi’s chance is their only shot on goal for the first 20 minutes.
A nice free kick at the Belgium training ground ended with Kevin De Bruyne firing a low shot from 25 yards that was blocked on 16 minutes.
A minute later, Amadou Onana beat Moroccan goalkeeper El Kajoui from a corner, but the Everton midfielder headed the ball over the bar.
Onana was booked in the 29th minute for taking an elbow against Azzedine Ounahi. He will miss Belgium’s last group game against Croatia.
Morocco’s goal in extra time from a free kick by Ziyech from the right of the area was ruled out for offside after a VAR check.
Saiss was in an offside position and his presence was one of the main reasons Courtois unleashed Ziyech’s free kick into the net.
Morocco’s best chance of the first half came in the 35th minute when Achraf Hakimi ran into a lofted pass down the right inside channel, away from Thorgan Hazard. He moved into the box, realized he had little support and volleyed high and wide of the near post.
The game was encouraged for Morocco in the second half. Sofiane Boufal chested a cross from Ziyech, cleared Thomas Meunier on the left edge of the box and honed a shot that bounced off the far post on 56 minutes.
Belgium had a double substitution in the 60th minute with Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens replacing Amadou Onana and the ineffective Eden Hazard respectively, but that wouldn’t change the awkward second-half situation for the Red Devils, who were listed second in the standings. fifa world. rankings
Morocco will face Canada and Belgium will face Croatia on Thursday in the final group game. ■