ANOTHER NORTH AFRICAN SHOW IN EGYPT

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By Emmanuel Ebimoh

The games played yesterday in the ongoing AFCON competition saw the domination of two North African sides against their considerably ‘lesser’ opponents. Although it took an 89th mins late own-goal from Namibia’s Itamunua Keimuine to give Morocco a deserved win, another North African side, Algeria cruised away to a comfortable 2-0 win in their own game against Kenya.

Morocco started well in their game with the in-form Ajax player of the season, Hakim Ziyech getting all the attention. Namibia, ranked 113th in FIFA’s world ranking, had a few chances of their own but didn’t really find that cutting edge to break the Moroccan defence and trouble goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou.

Morocco’s midfielder, Nabil Dirar forced Namibia goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua to tip a long-range shot that was looping into the top corner of the net, while Nordin Amrabat went down under a challenge by Danzil Haoseb but saw his appeals for a penalty dismissed. The first half looked a little barren and needed some spark to get the game into life.

In search of a solution, French coach Renard – who previously triumphed with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015 – introduced Celta Vigo forward Sofiane Boufal in the second half. The new man apparently brought in a marked difference to the Morocco attack.

The former Southampton man almost made an instant impact, forcing Namibia goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua to save low to his right, before firing narrowly wide with 10 minutes remaining.

It all had to wait late when Hakim Ziyech whipped in a dangerous cross into the box from a free-kick, Namibia’s Itamunua Keimuine misjudged the flight of the ball and diverted it into the net, handing Morocco a late win.

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In the other games, Algeria were comfortable 2-0 winners over Kenya in a group C clash that saw two-times English Premier League winner, Riyad Mahrez, in the scoresheet. Senegal, without talisman, Sadio Mane, were also worthy winners as they cruised through a 2-0 victory over Tanzania in the other group C game.

About Emmanuel Ebimoh 461 Articles
Emmanuel Ebimoh is a Writer, Poet, Editor, and Football Enthusiast. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You can reach him on emmyebimoh@gmail.com

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