Morocco suffer shock loss to Gambia

Morocco suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Gambia in an international friendly at Stade de Marrakech on Wednesday evening.

In the 17th minute, Youssef En-Nesyri skipped past his marker on the left wing and delivered a tantalising cross for Khalid Boutaibi, but he could not direct his header on target after being put under immense pressure by the Gambian defence.

Gambia took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute. Mbark Boussoufa underhit his pass to Mehdi Benatia, who was robbed of possession by Muhammed Badamosi. Badamosi then played in Musa Barrow down the left, who cut inside before hitting the ball with his right foot in to the back of the net via a deflection.

On the stroke of half-time, Hakim Ziyech brought a fine save out of Gambian goalkeeper Modou Jobe with a fine long-range effort that looked destined for the bottom left-hand corner.

Morocco didn't deserve to be behind going in to the interval, having had 76 percent of the possession in the first half.

Soon after the break, the Atlas Lions came agonisingly close to equalising. Nourredine Amrabat swung in a cross from the right-hand side to Abderazzak Hamdallah at the back post, but his effort hit the post.

In the 55th minute, the home side won a free-kick in a promising position but Amrabat's free-kick went narrowly over the crossbar.

Herve Renard's side continued to boss the game but lacked penetration in the final third.

On the hour mark, Faycal Fajr delivered the ball in to the box but En-Nesyri couldn't guide his effort on target.

Soon after, Achraf Hakimi stung the gloves of Jobe with a powerful effort and the ball rebounded to Hamdallah, but just as he was about to tap in to an empty net, the referee blew his whistle with the flag having gone up for offside.

In the 90th minute, Amrabat was played in down the right-hand side on the overlap and his cross came off the arm of Gambian replacement Jibril Bojang in the box with the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

However, Fajr's penalty was brilliantly saved by Jobe diving down smartly to his right to deny the Atlas Lions from salvaging a draw.

 

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