U17 AFCON: Morocco Sail for Semifinals Following Victory against Algeria

The Moroccan Under 17 football selection qualified for the semi-finals of 2023 Under 17 African Cup of Nations  (U17 AFCON), and for the World Cup qualifiers, following its victory over its Algerian counterpart (3-0), on Wednesday in Constantine, Algeria.

The Moroccan selection achieved this win thanks to Zakaria Ouazane’s brace (28’, 57’) and Adam Chakir’s third goal (86’), sailing to the semifinals where they will face either Mali or Congo.

The selection of national coach Said Chiba kicked off this 100% North African derby in attack mode to pressure the opponent and gain a favorable score early on.

With a clear domination of the match, the Moroccan selection identified the flaws of the Algerian defense in the first half an hour. Taking advantage of an error on the part of an Algerian left-back, Aymane Nair sneaked in on the right side and passed the ball to Zakaria Ouazane, scoring a spectacular header (28’).

Two minutes later, Mohammed Hammouni came close to doubling the lead, again taking advantage of an error on the Algerian defense’s side. However,  Algerian defender Abdelhak Ben Idder intervened at the right time to prevent the Moroccan striker from scoring.

Stung in their pride, the Algerian players began, timidly, to take risks, creating several opportunities that the Moroccan selection could have seized. 

In the 36th minute, the Algerians had their best chance to score when Mohammed Ali Saleh Zayed found himself one-on-one with Moroccan goalkeeper Taha Benghozil, who managed to save the kick brilliantly.

During the second half, the Moroccan selection maintained the lead, while the Algerians had great difficulty finding fault in the Moroccan defense.

And while the Algerians were in search of a tie, Zakaria Ouazane, well served by Abdelhamid Maali, scored another goal in the 57th minute.

In the 86th minute, Adam Chakir sealed the Moroccan selection’s victory by scoring the third goal with a low-driven shot.

Morocco wrapped up the group round of the 2023 Under 17 African Cup of Nations (U17 AFCON) leading Group B with six points, thanks to its winning performance against South Africa (1-0) and Nigeria (2-0).

The other two quarters will be played between Nigeria and Burkina Faso (May 11) and Mali and Congo (May 11).

The four semi-finalists will earn their ticket to the World Cup of the category.

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