AFCON 2021

AFCON2021: VAR Send Morocco To The Knock-out Stages

Debutant Comoros eliminated by a last decision from VAR to book Morocco a place in the knock-out stages

Elvis Kang



  • Goals from Salim Amallah and Zakaria Aboukhlal seal a spot at the knock-out stages for Morocco
  • Boina Ben Voted Man of the match despite a defeat 
  • Comoros eliminated after first nations cup participation 


Fresh off a match-day one victory over group favorites Ghana, Morocco faced Comoros at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday with a push to exist debutant out of the tournament

An early exit from the tournament was imminent as Comoros had it as a task of facing an opposing team ranked 28th in the world and second in Africa.

Morocco and Comoros head coaches Vahid Halilhodzic and Amir Ed Dine both made some changes from a side that played Ghana and Gabon respectively in their first game

Coach Vahid borough in Ayoub El Kaabi who absent in the first game in place of Zakaria Aboukhlal who played for 87 minutes in the first game, Sofyan Amrabat who had just 3 minutes in the last game was introduced in place of Azz Eddine Ounahi meanwhile Samy mmaee left his place for Tarik Tissoudal go offensive with a 4-1-4-1 formation

French tactician Amir Ed Dine also opted for the same formation to defend and attack as he brought in Boina Ben to secure the goal post replacing Ahamada Ali Nadhoim, Nadjim Abdou came in for Younn Zahary

Both teams were eyeing a victory to secure a place in the knockout stages with a full option at the back.

Comoros making an unwanted mistake cost them to concede an early goal at the 16th minute, when Selim Amallah single handily dispose off the linky defense of Comoros with an opener to give Morocco an early advantage

Photo credit: CAF

Comoros tried to fight back for an equalizer but they lacked the means to get a shot on goal that could threaten goalkeeper Yassine Bounou

The Atlas Lions almost made it two at the 24th minute when Sofiane Boufal, goal scorer of the last game miss-judge his shot and it went wide for a goal kick

The Coelacanths losses possession too many times cheaply to give the Atlas lion advantage of dominate a greater share of ball possession 62% with five shots and only one on target



Photo credit: CAF

The second segment was without any changes at the early stage.

Comoros began dominating the game with a good footballing style of play with several shots blocked by the back four of Morocco and had just one shot off-target

At the 56th minute Morocco made a come back in the game when Ayoub El Kaabi shot was blocked by an outstanding Comoros defense

Coach Amir Ed Dine decided to correct the errors at the midfield by bringing on Yacine Bourhane in place of Raffidine Abdullah and the midfield has some stability as Comoros reduced ball possession pressure

Coach Vahid Hallihodzic made some key changes in search of another goal to secure all three point by bringing in Zakaria Aboukhlal, Youssef En-Nesyri and Faycal Fajr for Imran Louza, Ayoub El Kaabi and Tarik Tissoudal respectively at the 65th minute

Morocco mounted enormous pressure on Comoros and with 10 minutes to full time substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal was brought down by goalkeeper Boina Ben Salime and the Tunisian referee Sadok Selmi pointed at the penalty spot for a penalty for Morocco but goalkeeper Boina Ben corrected his mistake with a world-class save to deny Morocco a second goal

Photo credit: CAF

Not to long Morocca with a counter attack at the 83rd minutes but goalkeeper Boina Ben made another super save to deny substitute Youssef En-Nesyri his first goal in the competition

Despite Boina Ben being on top form with some excellent save in the game he could not manage the pressure any more when substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal scored his first goal of the tournament after the VAR counselled the referee decision of an offside to give Morocco their third goal of the tournament

The Coelacanths becomes the second team to be eliminated from the tournament after host Cameroon eliminated Ethiopia yesterday at the Olembe stadium



Photo credit: CAF

Elvis Kang

Elvis Kang is a graduate With a Diploma in Journalism from ALISON Online University Has worked with Eternity Gospel Radio 📻 Limbe Presently a sports Consultant with CAM1 TV Limbe

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