Ziyech and En-Nesyri beat Canada to help Morocco top Group B.

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By Creative Media News

Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-early Nesyri’s goals eliminated any remaining suspense on Morocco’s progression to the round of 16 at the World Cup for the second time. It clinched Canada’s nightmare exit from a tournament that began with such hope eight nights earlier.

The formidable Atlas Lions entered the final group-stage match with confidence, having followed a scoreless draw with Croatia with a 2-0 victory over second-ranked Belgium and needing just a point to qualify for the knockout round for the first time in nearly four decades.

They finished it, with Croatia’s draw with Belgium across town, as the implausible victors of a group above two European powerhouses with recent quarterfinal appearances.

Walid Regragui, who was appointed Morocco’s manager three months ago, stated that the team’s stated objective was to advance out of the group stages. “We can now check that box. Then why not shoot for the stars?

Ziyech and en-nesyri beat canada to help morocco top group b.
Ziyech and en-nesyri beat canada to help morocco top group b.

“We had to adjust, and we had to alter our mindset. We are not stopping here. We have a great deal of respect for all of our opponents, but we will be extremely difficult to defeat.”

Les Rouges, who were dismantled by Croatia and knocked out of the competition despite outperforming Belgium in their opening match, were out of sorts from the outset in this unfriendly environment, with the fans jeering their every touch.

Steven Vitória’s sloppy backpass to Milan was all it took for Morocco to send their fans into a frenzy. Borjan compelled the goalkeeper to leave his penalty area as En-Nesyri approached.

Ziyech and en nesyri
Ziyech and en-nesyri beat canada to help morocco top group b.

Borjan sent the ball directly to Chelsea winger Ziyech, who scored from 35 yards out to spark the sea of red in the south end of the stadium. It was the worst performance of the tournament and unquestionably the low point of Canada’s first World Cup trip since their disastrous debut in 1986.

Canada was able to regain their footing, but their possession and set-pieces failed to pose a significant danger, and Morocco quickly regained control of the midfield.

En-Nesyri scored after 23 minutes, becoming the first Moroccan to score in two World Cups. The Sevilla forward chased down a long ball from the back, dribbled between two players, and past Borjan at his near post.

There were remains of the speed and tenacity that fueled Canada’s performance against Belgium, but they were consistently undone by a lack of organization from front to back, unable to piece together more than a few passes or long parts of the first half.

Their troubles were exemplified by their inability to get Alphonso Davies involved, as Morocco’s swarming defenders consistently denied the 22-year-old service.

The Moroccans, whose backline was commanded by Paris Saint-Achraf Germain’s Hakimi, were one of two remaining teams, along with Brazil, that had not conceded a goal. Five minutes before halftime, Canada equalized when Nayef Aguerd deflected a cross from the left past his goalkeeper and inside the near post.

It was the first own goal of the tournament and a brutal end to Morocco’s streak of six consecutive clean sheets.

With nothing left to play for other than the chance to end their tournament on a high note and set a winning tone for when they co-host in four years, Canada’s fighting spirit shone through in the second half, when their manager from Consett, County Durham, John Herdman, made a triple substitution after an hour and threw numbers forward with abandon.

They came agonizingly close to equalizing when a header by their captain, the oldest outfield player in Qatar, Atiba Hutchinson, struck the crossbar and rebounded toward the goal line.

However, Morocco’s resolute defense did not budge, securing Africa’s record sixth victory at a World Cup and making it the first side from the continent to finish top in a group since Nigeria in 1998.

“We’ve raised the bar by winning Concacaf, and I believe that’s a fantastic standard to set,” Herdman said. “We’ve always emphasized that the international level is the next step, and I don’t believe we were far off.

“Two inches this evening. We are within two inches of our first outcome. That was the extent of it.”

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