Morocco Eases to 3-0 Win Over Tanzania in Africa Cup Opener

Youssef En-Nesyri had to wait until he was on the replacements’ bench to celebrate a goal that helped Morocco defeat Tanzania 3-0 in their first Africa Cup of Nations match on Wednesday.

En-Nesyri’s jubilation were cut short by an offside flag after scoring his team’s third goal in the 80th minute. He had already made way for Amine Harit to take his place when a VAR check confirmed he was onside for Achraf Hakimi’s cross.

En-Nesyri’s teammates raced to the Moroccan bench to applaud the Sevilla forward.

“We’re happy because you always have to start well,” Morocco coach Walid Regragui said.

In the end, the “Atlas Lions,” who reached the World Cup semifinals in Qatar, cruised to a comfortable victory.

In the 30th minute, Romain Saïss scored on a rebound after Aishi Manula stopped Hakim Ziyech’s free kick outside the penalty area.

Morocco faced tight opposition from the “Taifa Stars,” who failed to make a single attempt on goal in the first half. They got two in the second half.

However, Tanzania’s chances of an upset were dashed in the 70th minute when Novatus Miroshi was sent off for his second yellow card for a foul. He was the third player to receive a red card during the event.

Azzedine Ounahi clinched the victory seven minutes later by playing a one-two with Amine Adli and hitting a low shot inside the left post, three minutes before En-Nesyri scored the last goal.

“The players applied what we wanted,” Regragui said. “We’re capable of attacking, we’re capable of waiting. We have several weapons, several strings to our bow. It’s good. We have people on the bench. Now we have to grow during the competition.”

An early victory would calm Regragui’s players, as the pressure is now on other major teams such as Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Algeria, which have all lost their first games. Only the first two teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage.

“You can see that temperature and humidity will play an important role in this competition,” Regragui said of the playing conditions so far in Ivory Coast. “We’re learning how to play with this temperature, we know that there will be strong periods, weak periods. We’ll have to accept not having possession from time to time, to be able to manage the efforts.”

Congo was to play Zambia in the other Group F game in San Pedro later.

Written by PH

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