Morocco beat Belgium in memorable World Cup victory — RT Sport News
Two second-half goals put the North Africans in charge for a place in the round of 16
Morocco secured a historic World Cup victory in Qatar as second-half goals from substitutes Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal were enough to beat Belgium at Al Thumama Stadium.
The Moroccans thought they had taken the lead in the first half, but Hakim Ziyech’s whipped free kick was ruled out for offside through a foul from Romain Saiss.
But the North Africans made the breakthrough in somewhat similar circumstances in the 73rd minute.
Sabiri curled a free kick into the box which eluded everyone, including Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Saiss strolled close to the Belgian goalkeeper again, although this time he was in the game and the goal counted.
Belgium were taken aback in stoppage time when Ziyech latched onto a loose ball, clipping it for substitute Aboukhlal to direct a brilliant effort past Courtois and into the top corner at the near post.
Victory was just a third for Morocco in a World Cup final, following wins over Portugal in 1986 and Scotland in 1998.
The result will go down as another clash in Qatar – a tournament that has already seen Saudi Arabia stun Argentina and Japan beat Germany.
In the immediate term, that puts Walid Regragui’s Moroccan side top of the Group F standings with four points from two matches, following their creditable 0-0 draw with Croatia.
Roberto Martinez’s disappointing Belgium – the team ranked number two in the world by FIFA and third in Russia four years ago – are second with three points after their tense win over Canada.
The Canadians take on Croatia later on Sunday, while the final round of Group F games on Thursday will see Belgium take on the Croats and Morocco take on Canada.
For Belgium and a star-studded squad of Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, it’s likely to be do or die the next time they take to the pitch in Qatar.
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