- Morocco topped Group F after securing victories over Belgium and Canada and drawing with Croatia
- Hakim Ziyech scored a long-range stunner in the 5th minute of the game after a goalkeeper error
- Belgium were eliminated from the World Cup after they drew with Croatia in their final group game
It took just five minutes for Morocco to open the scoring against Canada, and what a beauty it was.
The North African side went into the encounter knowing a win or draw would see them qualify for the Round of 16, and boosted their chances in style.
Morocco took the lead in the fifth minute as Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech scored a beautiful long-range effort for his team.
Ziyech capitalised on an error by Canada’s keeper, Milan Borjan. The keeper rushed out of his box to prevent a Moroccan attack, but only knocked the ball into the path of Ziyech.
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The Chelsea man calmly lobbed the ball back towards the goal, giving the keeper no chance.
The goal was the second-fastest in this edition of the World Cup. Ironically, Canada’s Alphonso Davies has scored the fastest goal.
It was also Morocco’s fasted goal in the history of the tournament. Their previous best was converted after 14 minutes.
Morocco secure victory
The African side extended their lead thanks to a Youssef En-Nesyri goal, but did concede one later. Despite Canada’s best efforts to draw level, Morocco held on for victory to top Group F.
Their victory saw Belgium get dumped out of the tournament, as they could only manage a draw against Croatia in the other game in the group.
Morocco goalkeeper vanishes before game
A crazy occurrence took place seconds before Belgium vs Morocco match at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar, Sports Brief earlier reported.
Morocco's first-choice goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was named in Walid Regragui''s starting XI and even lined up for the national anthems.
But as soon as the game began, it was discovered that Bounou had not taken up his place in the Moroccan goal and instead Al Wehda's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi was between the sticks.
Morocco break 36-year record
The last time the Atlas Lions reached the group stages of the World Cup was in 1986, and since then they have been trying in vain to do it again.
They have thus far enjoyed an incredible outing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as they also finished as leaders in Group F with seven points, Sports Brief reported.
Source: Sports Brief News