The Moroccan national football team continued to write history and its wonderful performances, which dazzled everyone in the World Cup in Qatar late last year by its fourth place, when it achieved a historic victory over its Brazilian guest 2-1 on Saturday 25 March 2023 at Ibn Battuta Stadium in Tangiers and in front of 65,000 spectators in an international match. friendly.
Sofiane Boufal (29) and Abdel Hamid Al Sabiri (79) scored the goals for Morocco, and Casemiro (67) scored the goal for Brazil.
It is the first victory for Morocco over Brazil in three confrontations that have brought them together so far, after losing to it twice, the first in a friendly in 1997 in Belém, where it made a good show before falling with two clean goals in the last ten minutes scored by Denilson (80 and 88), and the second one year later, in the role of The groups in the 1998 World Cup in France in Nantes, with three goals, which were scored by Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Bebeto.
The “Atlas Lions” made a great match and stood equal to the stars of the Seleçao, especially the Spanish Real Madrid wingers, Vinicius Junior and Rodrigo, and they managed to achieve a well-deserved victory over the world number one, the first for an Arab team over the five-time world champion.
Morocco also became the second team from Africa to defeat Brazil, after Cameroon, which it defeated 1-0 in the last round of the group stage of the Qatar World Cup.
It was the first match for the Moroccan national team after its historic career in the World Cup in Qatar, when it achieved remarkable victories over Belgium, Canada, Spain and Portugal and became the first African and Arab team to reach the semi-finals before being eliminated by France, the 2018 champion, who lost the Doha final against Argentina.
“We achieved what we set out to do”
Morocco coach Walid Regragui commented after the match, “We achieved what we aspired to, which is to please the huge fans who came to support us, and I think we were on time with this historic victory over a great team that has many stars and talents.”
He added, “Our message today is that we will make sure to prepare a team that will fight on the field, whether we win or lose. We will always play with this fighting spirit to achieve the best results.”
Coach Regragui pushed his starting line-up, which did well in Qatar and witnessed one amendment, by bringing in the promising Belgian Genk midfielder Bilal Al-Khanous, at the expense of Valladolid’s Spanish player, Salim Amlah, who was absent due to injury.
French Paris Saint-Germain defender Ashraf Hakimi participated in the main, after suspicion was hanging over him due to an injury that kept him out of action in the last two weeks.
It was also the first match for the Brazilian national team since its disappointing exit from the quarter-finals on penalties against Croatia.
Brazil played the match in the absence of its defense poles Marquinhos (Saint-Germain), veteran Thiago Silva (Chelsea, England), striker Richarlison (Tottenham, England) and star Neymar (Saint-Germain) due to injury, and under the leadership of its interim coach, Ramon Menezes, pending contracting with a successor to Titi, who resigned from his post after the World Cup. diagonal.
Menezes summoned 10 players who were present at the World Cup.
The Moroccan fans, who filled the entire stands of Ibn Battuta Stadium, observed a minute of silence in honor of the legend Pele, who passed away on December 29th. The Seleçao players wore T-shirts with the name “Black Jewel” written on them.
Regragui was up to his promise that he made before the match when he played an offensive risk from the start of the match, contrary to his defensive caution that characterized him in the World Cup, but the first dangerous opportunity in the match was Brazilian when Palmeiras striker Rooney was alone inside the area after receiving a through ball from Rodrigo and hit it over the crossbar (14). ).
Morocco responded when Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech passed a cross to Bayern Munich defender Naseer Mazraoui inside the area, so he placed it on his chest and manipulated Tottenham defenders Emerson and Real Madrid Eder Militao before hitting it hard next to the left post (23).
And Rodrigo almost did it after a mistake by Mazraoui at the edge of the area, so he recklessly hit the ball, which was saved by the Spanish goalkeeper, Yassin Bono, in two waves (24).
Morocco succeeded in opening the scoring after a coordinated attack and a joint game between Al-Khanous and Boufal inside the area, so the Qatari Al-Rayyan striker finished it off with a creeping shot from close range to the right of the Palmeiras goalkeeper, Verton (29).
And Rodrigo missed the opportunity to equalize when he received a ball inside the area and hit it far from the three woods (36).
Ziyash followed suit after receiving a ball on a plate of gold from Boufal inside the area, which he hit next to the far right post (37).
Marseille’s French midfielder Ezzedine Onahi almost did it with a clever shot from close range that hit Militao’s foot and passed next to the far left post (37).
Vinicius responded with a deceptive shot, which passed a few centimeters over the crossbar (41).
Bono saved his goal from the equalizing goal at the beginning of the second half, by deftly deflecting a powerful shot “on the fly” by Rodrigo from outside the area into a corner that did not bear fruit (47). Onahi hit a powerful ball from outside the area, which the goalkeeper pushed away with difficulty before the defense dispersed it (54).
Manchester United midfielder Casemiro managed to equalize with a shot from outside the area that escaped from Bono’s hands and hit the net (67).
And the substitute, the Italian Sampdoria midfielder, Al-Saberi, succeeded in giving victory to Morocco when he took advantage of a rebound from his fellow substitute, the Italian striker Bari, Walid Chedira, after a cross pass to the third substitute, Wydad Casablanca defender Yahya Atiyatallah, hit it powerfully with his right from close range, hit the ceiling of the crossbar and hugged the net (79).