North African giants Morocco have Joined Senegal in the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup after claiming a 2-1 victory over Canada.
The Atlas Lions are not only through to the text stage – they’re group winners in Group F with seven points.
Morocco got off the mark early, with Hakim Ziyech capitalizing on a poor clearance by Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan, chipping the ball into a gaping net to make it 1-0.
Striker Yussef En-Nesyri doubled Morocco’s lead when he got on the end of a lofted through ball, powering an attempt past the near post.
Canada pulled one back when Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd deflected Sam Adekugbe’s cross past his own keeper to make the score 2-1 just before half-time.
En-Nesyri thought he extended the lead once again with a cool volley that went in off the post, but the linesman flag went up to signal offside, and the goal was disallowed.
Head coach John Herdman subbed on Atiba Hutchinson, Jonathan David, Ismaël Koné and Richie Laryea to ramp up the pressure on Morocco, who surrendered the majority of possession to Canada in the second half.
Hutchinson came millimetres from equalized when his header off a corner bounced off the crossbar, down onto the goal-line before going out of play.
In the end, it wasn’t meant to be for the Canadians, as Morocco’s resilient defense turned back Canada’s advances to hold on to the 2-1 win and booking their ticket to the knockout stage.
They are through to the next stage alongside 2018 finalists who finished second in the group ahead of Belgium.
This means Belgium, who entered the competition as the second-ranked team and Canada are out of the mundial.