World Cup 2022: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal seal late victory

Morocco caused the latest shock in a World Cup that has been full of surprises by beating Belgium thanks to late goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

Belgium Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was at fault for the first goal, inexplicably allowing Sabiri’s in-swinging free-kick to beat him at his near post with 17 minutes remaining.

But the entire Belgium side paid the price for a heavy performance, with Morocco capped off a stunning second-half display when Aboukhlal fired Hakim Ziyech’s cutback into the roof of the net on the stroke of half-time.

It sparked wild celebrations in the stands at Al Thumama Stadium from thousands of Morocco fans, who had created a raucous atmosphere from the start.

The result means Morocco move above Belgium to top Group F on four points, with Croatia and Canada meeting later on Sunday (16:00 GMT kick-off).

Few surprises had appeared on the cards early on. Having survived a high-tempo, hero-Celtic approach from Canada – their first opponents in Group F – Belgium’s first job this time around was to break down Morocco’s massed defence.

They managed it in the first five minutes, when Thorgan Hazard sent Michy Batshuayi running clear, but he was denied by Munir Mohamedi, a late substitute in the Morocco goal after Bono fell ill in the warm-up.

It looked like it would just be the start of some sustained Belgian pressure, but while they continued to dominate possession, more clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Roared on by their boisterous fans, who bounced around the Al Thumama Stadium in large numbers, Morocco comfortably held them at bay and began to grow into the game themselves.

They thought they had taken the lead just before half-time when Ziyech’s free-kick eluded Courtois, but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled Romain Saiss offside and adjudged to be interfering with play after running over the Belgian goalkeeper’s line of sight.

Roberto Martinez’s team did not improve after the break, but only managed shots from distance from ineffective Eden Hazard and substitute Dries Mertens.

Morocco, meanwhile, became as lively as their supporters in the stands and came close to taking the lead when Sofiane Boufal cut in from the left and sent a shot wide.

They kept coming forward and got their reward when Sabiri’s clever free-kick found Courtois dozing at the set-piece again. This time there was to be no VAR reprieve to save him.

The closest Belgium came to an equalizer was when Jan Vertonghen headed wide, before Aboukhlal sealed a shock victory by finishing off a quick break.

More to follow.

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Belgium

  1. Team number1Player nameCourtois

  2. Team number15Player nameMeunier

  3. Team number2Player nameAlderweireld

  4. Team number5Player nameVertonghen

  5. Team number21Player nameChestnut

  6. Team number18Player nameMasturbating

  7. Team number6Player nameWitsel

  8. Team number7Player nameDe Bruyne

  9. Team number10Player nameE Danger

  10. Team number16Player nameT Danger

  11. Team number23Player nameBatshuayi

  1. Team number8Player nameTielemans

  2. Team number9Player nameLukaku

  3. Team number14Player nameMertens

  4. Team number17Player nameTrossard

  5. Team number22Player nameThe Ketelaere

Morocco

  1. Team number12Player nameMohamedi

  2. Team number2Player nameHakimi

  3. Team number5Player nameAguerd

  4. Team number6Player nameSaïss

  5. Team number3Player nameMazraoui

  6. Team number8Player nameOunahi

  7. Team number4Player nameS Amrabat

  8. Team number15Player nameAmallah

  9. Team number7Player nameZiyech

  10. Team number19Player nameEn-Nesyri

  11. Team number17Player nameBoufal

  1. Team number9Player nameHamdallah

  2. Team number11Player nameSabiri

  3. Team number14Player nameAboukhlal

  4. Team number18Player nameEl Yamiq

  5. Team number25Player nameAttiat-Allah

Lineups

Belgium

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Courtois
  • 15MeunierSubstituted forLukakuon 81′minutes
  • 2Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 21Chestnut
  • 18MasturbatingOrdered in 29 minutesSubstituted forTielemanson 60′minutes
  • 6Witsel
  • 7De Bruyne
  • 10E DangerSubstituted forMertenson 61′minutes
  • 16T DangerSubstituted forTrossardon 74′minutes
  • 23BatshuayiSubstituted forThe Ketelaereon 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Theater
  • 4Faes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 9Lukaku
  • 11Carrasco
  • 12Mignolet
  • 1. 3Casteels
  • 14Mertens
  • 17Trossard
  • 19Dendoncker
  • 20Vanaken
  • 22The Ketelaere
  • 24Open up
  • 25Documentary
  • 26Disaster

Morocco

Formation 4-3-3

  • 12Mohamedi
  • 2HakimiSubstituted forAttiat-Allahon 68′minutes
  • 5Aguerd
  • 6Saïss
  • 3Mazraoui
  • 8OunahiSubstituted forEl Yamiqon 78′minutes
  • 4S Amrabat
  • 15AmallahSubstituted forSabirion 68′minutesOrdered in 90 minutes
  • 7Ziyech
  • 19En-NesyriSubstituted forHamdallahon 73′minutes
  • 17BoufalSubstituted forAboukhlalon 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Hamdallah
  • 10Zaroury
  • 11Sabiri
  • 1. 3Chair
  • 14Aboukhlal
  • 16Ezzalzouli
  • 18El Yamiq
  • 20Dari
  • 21Cheddar
  • 22Tagnaouti
  • 23El Khannouss
  • 24Benoun
  • 25Attiat-Allah
  • 26Jabrane

Judge:
César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos

Participation:
43,738

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