Morocco joined hosts Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria into the knockout stage of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after a 1-0 win over Ivory Coast in their second group game held on Friday 28 June.
After labouring to a 1-0 win over Namibia in their opening game, a win against a much-fancied Ivory Coast was all Morocco needed to make it to the next round and they did little to send the same intent when En-Nesyri put them into the lead in the 22nd minute.
Amrabat was the main orchestra of the goal as he jinked a run past three players before marvellously sending in a cute through ball to En-Nesyri, who rewarded is efforts with an immaculate finish, slamming low past the keeper from 16 yards for a 1-0 half time lead.
The second half was Ivory Coast’s to chase and they were not done any favours when captain Serge Aurier was to be stretched off in the 70th minute with Bagayoko taking his place; a move that denied Wilfried Zaha a chance for another cameo role.
Ivory Coast pressing was forcing Morocco to a bit of sloppiness as they tried to see this out. Belhanda was to give the ball away in midfield in the 85th minute and was fortunate not to be punished, as the ensuing move leads to a Bony heading just wide from 10 yards.
Despite the late pressure from the Elephants, Morocco held to book their place into the last sixteen of the competition.
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