Reuters2 minutes read

Morocco’s Abdelhamid Sabiri celebrates his historic winner against Brazil.Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri gave Morocco a 2-1 win over Brazil in a friendly in Tangier on Saturday, their first win against the five-time world champions.

World Cup semi-finalists Morocco did not hold back, scoring a resounding win over football powerhouses Brazil in their first home game after a stellar season in Qatar 2022.

– Vickery: Moroccan loss not a catastrophe for Brazil
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (US)

Cheered on by 65,000 fans at the packed Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, Morocco tried an early run but a stable Brazil held strong and the game almost turned into a sulky affair, with the Brazilian players complaining bitterly to the referee after a series of poor tackles the home defender.

Brazil were more aggressive and controlled possession, while Morocco were always dangerous on the break.

Palmeiras winger Rony, who made his debut on his first call for the Brazilian side, missed a sitter from close range in the 13th minute.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou almost gave Brazil a goal in the 22nd minute with a comical error when trying to put the ball in play with his feet, but Rony’s shot at an empty goal was blocked by a defender and Bounou saved recover in time to save Vinicius Junior’s punch from the rebound.

Bono made another error a minute later, gifting Vinicius the ball to an empty goal, but the attempt was ruled out by VAR over a controversial offside in the build-up, with the Brazilian players berating Tunisian official Sadok Selmi.

In the very next game, Emerson Royal lost the ball near his own penalty area and Morocco didn’t squander the defender’s golden opportunity, Bilal El Khannous helping Sofiane Boufal score from close range.

Hakim Ziyech missed two great chances for Morocco before the break and goalkeeper Bounou saved a Rodrygo shot from the edge of the box with a Hollywood save.

But Brazil equalized in the 67th minute thanks to a school mistake by Bounou, who failed to save a feeble shot from Casemiro and sent the ball under himself and into the net.

The hosts struck back 12 minutes later, however, with substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri, who brought down a lost ball in the Brazilian penalty area and unleashed an unstoppable shot that bounced off the bar and into the net.

It was a goal that the team and fans needed to complete their celebrations.

Morocco, who became the first Arab team to reach the quarter-finals and the first African team to reach the semi-finals, once again filled their fans with pride after a World Cup round that caused tears of joy across Africa and the Arab world.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *