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Morocco Edge Guinea In U-23 AFCON Opener

Morocco Edge Guinea In U-23 AFCON Opener

Hosts Morocco rallied from a goal down to beat Guinea 2-1 in the opening Group A match of the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023.

Skipper Abdessamad Ezzalzouli converted two second-half penalties to hand the home side a perfect start in Rabat on Saturday.

In what promised to be an enthralling contest, debutants Guinea started the game on a strong note, displaying dominance and control over the proceedings.

The Guinean side demonstrated their attacking prowess early on, with midfielder Seydoumba Cisse unleashing a powerful shot that was expertly saved by Moroccan goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch in the 10th minute.

Morocco’s skipper Abdessamad Ezzalzouli came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half, narrowly missing the target with his attempt.

Just two minutes remaining in the first half, it was Guinea who broke the deadlock through Algassime Bah who capitalized on a free-kick opportunity from outside the box.

Morocco equalised in 67 minutes as Ezzalzouli converted from the penalty spot sending the Guinean goalkeeper the wrong way.

With the momentum firmly in their favour, the Moroccan side persistently attacked, while Guinea attempted to hold their ground defensively.

Guinea conceded another penalty in the fifth minute of added time with Ezzalzouli dispatching the penalty, securing a 2-1 lead for his team.

Guinea’s Naby Youssouf Oulare thought he had salvaged a draw for his team in the final moments of the match. However, the goal was disallowed after consultation with the VAR team.

The U-23 AFCON action continues on Sunday as Ghana takes on Congo Brazzaville in a Group A clash, while defending champions Egypt lock horns with Niger and in Group B matches Mali squares off against Gabon.

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  • Chima E Samuels 12 months ago

    Bias officiating is messing up African football who else witnessed the shoddy officiating btw this two side???

    • You are very much on point. The var is being miss used. The second was not a penalty the player had his hand tucked to his body and the Equalizer by Guinea was a clear goal the ball hit Morocco goal keeper. these referees are very incompetent or outrightly bias. what a shame. The VAR operators force the referees to look for infractions where there are none.

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