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Qatar 2022: Morroco send a message to the rest of the World with shock win over Belgium

Morocco taught the Belgium team a World Cup lesson they will never forget

Morroco crush Belgium in Qatar

This Belgium team have shown by their recent performances that they have very little chance of winning the World Cup. Morocco succeeded where Canada failed in punishing another disappointing Belgium display.

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Two substitutes, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal, scored the goals that gave Morocco only their third win in World Cup history and sparked wild celebrations all around the Al Thumama Stadium. It was thoroughly deserved.

Morocco were decisive and energetic while Belgium lacked ideas and any sort of creativity. There seemed to be an over-reliance on Kevin De Bruyne and he did not have the answers. Roberto Martínez team can still qualify for the last 16 but they look like a shadow of the side that finished third in Russia in 2018.

Hakim Ziyech was influential for Morocco throughout. His crossfield passes opened up play several times and he was pivotal in everything Morocco did.

Morocco believed they had their first goal of the World Cup on the stroke of half-time after Ziyech was fouled by Thorgan Hazard just outside the penalty area. Ziyech took the free-kick himself and whipped it goalwards. Courtois, unsighted by the Morocco duo of Romain Saïss and Hakimi, was deceived by the flight. The ball squirmed through his grasp and over the line but Saïss was offside and the referee César Arturo Ramos disallowed Ziyech’s strike following a pitch-side review.

Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois would not be spared a second time. After a Thomas Meunier foul on the right, substitute Sabiri drilled a free-kick towards Saïss moving in at the near post. The ball flew under the grasp of Courtois and he would not be spared by VAR on this occasion. Martínez had already made several substitutions in an attempt to inject some life into the Belgium display but it was Morocco who struck again. Ziyech found space down the right and pulled the ball back for Aboukhlal who swept a superb finish into the top corner.

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