Morocco stun Belgium in World Cup of upsets


Morocco's midfielder #11 Abdelhamid Sabiri (front) celebrates with teammates after he scored his team's first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Morocco at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha. Photo: Getty Images

from HUSSEIN HUSSAIN in Doha, Qatar
Special Correspondent
DOHA, (CAJ News) – A WORLD Cup littered with upsets took another twist on Sunday as Morocco defeated favourites Belgium to enhance their prospects of the knockout stages.

The 2-0 victory at Al Thumama Stadium, over the second-best national team by rankings, ranks alongside the best ever attained by the side that boasts the record of being the first African team to qualify for the second round of the tournament.

That was in Mexico 1986 when the North Africans finished at the top of Group F that also had England, Poland and Portugal.

They are in Group F again in Qatar and the victory over Belgium catapulted them to the top of the group with a game remaining.

After the opening day goalless draw against 2018 finalists Croatia, coach Walid Regragui and his Atlas Lions had belief of collecting more points as they lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Belgium’s Red Devils were unconvincing against Canada in their opening fixture and looked vulnerable but to expect them to be tamed in this second match was unimaginable.

Regragui’s substitutions proved a masterstroke as Abdelhamid Sabiri fired in a setpiece in the 73rd minute and Zakaria Aboukhlal finished off a counter-attack in the third minute of injury time.

On December 1, Morocco meet Canada in their final match, also at Al Thumama, the same day Belgium and Croatia clash at the Ahmed bin Ali.

– CAJ News




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