Azzedine Ounahi helps Morocco make the impossible a vivid reality | World Cup 2022

Morocco were almost there. The whistles had intensified, if that was humanly possible, and Walid Regragui needed to convey one last point. They would play with 10 men for the final few minutes and the manager called Azzedine Ounahi, the lungs and fizzing brain of his midfield, to the touchline.

A word in the ear, perhaps audible but quite possibly not, concluded with a shake of the shoulders, a slap on the back, a physical way of demanding an extra iota of focus before Portugal pass, pass, passed their way through the thirds once more.

Ounahi needed no wake-up call. Soon he was being hoisted…


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