Sun | Jan 29, 2023

FootballFever | Morocco advance at World Cup after beating Canada 2-1

Published:Thursday | December 1, 2022 | 12:56 PM
Morocco players celebrate by tossing the head coach Walid Regragui into the air at the end of the World Cup group F football match between Canada and Morocco at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, December 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco advanced to the last 16 at the World Cup for just the second time after clinging on for a 2-1 win over Canada on Thursday.

The victory meant it finished top of Group F ahead of 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia and semifinalist Belgium. Croatia went through in second and No. 2-ranked Belgium was surprisingly eliminated after their 0-0 draw.

The Moroccans' only other trip past the group stage came in 1986.

Hakim Ziyech scored for Morocco in the fourth minute after a bad error by Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan left the winger to shoot the ball into an empty goal. Youssef En-Nesyri added a second in the 23rd.

It looked then like Morocco would overrun the Canadians.

But Nayef Aguerd's own-goal just before halftime made it 2-1 and lifted Canada enough for them to put pressure on Morocco in search of an equalising goal for most of the second half.

Canada came agonisingly close when a header from captain Atiba Hutchinson, who came on as a second-half substitute, bounced off the crossbar and onto the goal line.

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