With the same script that allowed them to keep fourth place in the Qatar-2022 World Cup, Morocco beat Brazil 2-1 this Saturday in Tangier in a friendly match, in which the five-time champions suffered the loss of Neymar.
midfielders Sofiane Boufal (29′) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (79′) gave victory to the Africans against a ‘Canarinha’ with many new faces, and who for the first time in almost seven years they did not have Tite on the bench.
After failing in the World Cup, where Croatia eliminated them in the quarterfinals, the coach left the team and the U-20 coach, ramon menezesassumed on an interim basis.
Captain casemiro (67′) partially equalized with a shot from outside the area that had the complicity of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, a great figure for the North Africans in Qatar.
In the packed Ibn Batouta stadium in the Moroccan city, before the ball started rolling, both teams paid tribute to ‘O Rei’ Pelépassed away last December at the age of 82.
At the beginning, Brazil was pressured by the ‘Atlas Lions’, protagonists of the best performance of an African team in a World Cup.
Although the South Americans, who also did not have the injured Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Richarlisonthey soon took possession of them, the men of Walid Regragui they did not give up that card until they got reward.
Around half an hour into the game, three Moroccans put pressure on right-back Emerson Royal at the start, took the ball from him and entered the box.
Bilal El Khannouss gave the ball to Boufal, who spun to dislodge Casemiro and shot with his right foot into an impossible angle for goalkeeper Weverton, one of ten of the 23 called up by Menezes for this game that was in Qatar.
The advantage thrilled Morocco, which in the minutes before the goal suffered from the partnership that Vinícius Jr. and Lucas Paquetá formed in the area of Achraf Hakimi, the PSG right-back who is accused of rape in France.
botch and salvation
With a missing Rodrygo, called to replace Neymar, the attack fell on ‘Vini’, involved in the best visitor options: a one-on-one from Rony (13′), another rookie, and collective pressure that forced ‘Bono’ (24 ‘) to leave the goal empty, although the goalkeeper managed to rebuild the situation.
Rodrygo seemed to wake up at the start of the second half (47′) by demanding the goalkeeper to the maximum with a volley. But the advantage allowed Morocco to play as it shines: defending and counterattacking.
With thirty minutes to go, Menezes and Regragui removed the bench, without any major changes afterwards, except for a short interruption (72′) due to a lighting problem in the stadium and a no lesser detail: Bounou’s blunder.
Accustomed to being the hero, the Sevilla goalkeeper slipped under his body a shot from Casemiro, who celebrated his seventh international goal.
But Sabiri, after a bad start from the Brazilian defense, saved it with a right foot that hit the crossbar and crossed the line.
Morocco will now face Peru in a friendly on Tuesday in Madrid, while the ‘Seleção’ will focus on finding Tite’s replacement. The Italian Carlo Ancelotti, according to the local press, is the main candidate.