Morocco 1-0 Cote d'Ivoire: 5 Talking Points | African Cup of Nations 2019
With a 1-0 win in this game, Morocco have joined other heavyweights - Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria - in ensuring their progress to the knockout stages of the African Cup Of Nations 2019.
Moroccans across the world will be hoping that the team can continue in the competition by replicating the strong performance they gave in this match. With a classy goal by En-Nesyri, thanks to the eagled-eyed Amrabat, Morocco settled into their game. Ivory Coast were certainly lucky not to concede any more.
The Moroccans played beautifully on the counter-attack, making seamless and effective passes that gave the Ivorian defence a lot of work. While it sounds like the Ivorians played rather poorly, nothing has ever been farther from the truth.
The Ivorians were solid and put their best into the game, but they were simply no match for the Northern Africans.
The Morocans were able to hold down Ivorian stars Nicolas Pepe and Wilifred Bony. While the Ivorians had no space to cause much trouble near the Morocans' goal, there were some notable moments.
Jonathan Kodjia nearly scored with a very close header in early on in the game but it was cleared quickly. An odd mistake by Yassine Bounou - Morocco's goalie - nearly aided the Elephants in an equalizer. The 28-year-old goalkeeper rushed off his line but couldn't clear the ball, allowing an oncoming Serey Die to shoot the ball into the side netting.
Ivory Coast are now level with South Africa and need a result against Gambia to qualify for the knockout stages.
We take a look at five talking points as Morocco continue a successful streak in their group, while Cote d'Ivoire hope to gain three points against Gambia.
#1 A brilliant move rounded off by a world-class strike
Football is a beautiful game, and goals like En-Nesyri's are testaments to that fact.
All the praise should go to former Watford winger Nordin Amrabat who beat three defenders in a jinx of a run. He then cut inside with a quick foot trick to find space, then layed off a beautiful no-look through-pass that beat the offside trap and set up an unmarked En-Nesyri to place the ball past the keeper.
It was a splendid, brilliantly crafted goal by Amrabat who didn't lose possession of the ball in those split seconds. While the Ivorians could barely have held back such brilliance, they would be pained that none of them noticed En-Nesyri unmarked and on-side, right in the middle.
While Amrabat may have drawn some of the Ivorians from their positions, Ibrahim Kamara will slam his team for lack of concentration that allowed En-Nesyri to be so available for the pass.