Morocco join Senegal as the second African country make the knockout stages at Qatar 2022.
By beating Canada, 2-1, the North African country finish at the top of their Group F, besting strong footballing countries like Belgium and Croatia, and advancing to the last 16 teams in the World Cup.
During the game against Canada, the Moroccan side strategically capitalized on its opponents' mistakes, especially those from Canadian defender Steven Vitória and goalkeeper Milan Borjan. At the height of the game, Vitória attempted to pass the ball back to Borjan at the same time that Youssef En-Nesyri was giving chase. Borjan left his net to play the ball but En-Nesyri’s seamlessness with the ball overpowered him and gave Hakim Ziyech the leeway to easily score a goal from a distance.
By half-time against Canada, Morocco was already in the lead, with strong indications pointing to the possibility that they would push through the knockout round. The win came with an eruption of celebration from fans who witnessed the team win at Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar.
\u201cThe Atlas Lions advance to the Round of 16 and become the first African nation to top a FIFA World Cup group since 1998! \ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\udde6\n\nRewatch Morocco make history in our 90' in 90" highlights \u2b07\ufe0f\u201d— FOX Soccer (@FOX Soccer) 1669915116
Morocco joins Senegal as the second African country to join the round of 16 at the big game so far. Cameroon and Ghana have not yet played their final group matches, but also potentially have a shot at securing a spot at the Round of 16 as well.
Earlier on Thursday, several sports analysts predicted that Morocco would advance to the knockout round if it won or had a draw with their Canadian opponents. According to reports, if Morocco had hypothetically lost the game to Canada, it would still advance with a Croatia win over Belgium, or with a Croatia-Belgium draw, assuming that it lost by fewer than three goals.
Throughout their World Cup history, Morocco has qualified for the World Cup six times. Now that the team has reached round of 16, it will mark the second time that they've done so in 36 years.
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