The Belgian team was the favorite for the fight. And not only by the fact that she is the current bronze medalist of the World Championships. Roberto Martinez’s team showed its current strength already in Qatar. In the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, Belgium achieved a difficult victory over Canada – 1: 0. And it was her character that put her clearly above the team of Morocco.
The Moroccans, in turn, on the initiative of performing at the 2022 World Cup were able to amuse themselves and their fans with a 0-0 draw in the confrontation with Croatia. It was noteworthy that the Balkans won silver at the 2018 World Cup. It turns out that the Africans had to prove themselves in competition with another current World Cup winner. The result of Morocco’s actions was interesting in comparison.
The meeting began under the dictation of the Belgians. It wasn’t surprising. It would be surprising if it were the other way around. Looking ahead, it is worth noting that according to the results of the first half, the Europeans achieved an indicator of 68% in possession of the ball. And for Africans, this figure, respectively, was at around 32%. However, this did not give a productive advantage to Martinez’s team.
Yes, the Belgians had more possession of the ball. Yes, they were more on the attack and more often threatened the opponent’s goal. There were great shots from Batshuayi, De Bruyne and again De Bruyne. But the team did not have a global advantage. The Moroccan national team players counterattacked and Courtois was not allowed to miss. Ziyech, Hakimi and Amdalla were active. And in stoppage time of the first half, the Africans even managed to score, but, as it turned out, from an offside position. Ziyech scored, who was deprived of a goal by the video assistant referee.
After the rest, the meeting resumed, in fact, from the moment at Eden Hazard. In the 52nd minute, he could have put his national team ahead, but the goalkeeper of the Moroccan team played reliably. Shortly thereafter, he dangerously headbutted Onan. The Africans responded in the 57th minute, when Boufal fired a dangerous and promising shot – wide. It was clear that no team was going to change itself: the Belgians would continue to dominate, while the Moroccans would look for a chance in counterplay.
Martinez to help the wards in the middle of the second half threw Mertens and Tielemans into battle. Already in the fifth minute of his stay on the field, Mertens could distinguish himself – again, Munir played reliably. Literally right there in Morocco, Sabiri and Attiyat-Allah entered the game. And wow: Sabiri became the joker of his team. In the 73rd minute, he skillfully executed a free-kick. 0:1!
Belgium was shocked. Belgium is on the verge of a fiasco. Belgium was forced to go for broke in the final minutes of the meeting. The team rushed to the attack with incredible forces, Lukaku appeared on the field. Martinez’s guys were ready to throw everything on the altar of a positive result in the match. But as often happens: rushing forward, they were eventually captured. In stoppage time, Abouhlal put an end to Morocco’s 2-0 win over Belgium with Ziyech’s pass.
With 4 points, the Moroccans are in 1st place in Group F and have every chance to get into the playoffs. They have a game ahead of them with Canada. The Belgians are in 2 positions with 3 points and they will finish the group stage with a meeting with Croatia.
World Cup 2022. Group F
Belgium – Morocco – 0:2
Sabiri, 73, Abukhlal, 90+2
Onana, 29 – Sabiri, 90+5
Belgium: Courtois – Meunier (Lukaku, 81), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Onana (Tielemans, 60), Castagne, Witzel, De Bruyne, T. Hazard (Trossard, 75), E. Hazard (Mertens, 60), Batshuayi (De Ketelare, 75).
Morocco: Munir – Hakimi (Attiat-Allah, 68), Agerd, Mazrawi, Saiss, Amrabat, Ziyesh, Ounahi (El-Yamik, 78), Bufal (Abuhlal, 73), Amdallah (Sabiri, 68), En Nesiri (Hamdallah, 73 ).
Arbitrator: Cesar Arturo Ramos Palazuelos (Mexico)
Stadium: “Al-Tumama” (Doha)