In a game that left Moroccan fans heartbroken and shattered, their goalkeeper Munir el Kajouiâs costly mistake led to their first loss since reaching the 2022 World Cup semifinals. South Africa proved to be a tough opponent in this lively Group K clash, drawing a 50,000 crowd despite near-freezing conditions. Despite qualifying for the finals earlier, World Cup history-makers, Morocco failed to secure victory in Johannesburg.
On the other hand, Zambia put up an impressive show of strength and talent, hammering Ivory Coast 3-0 in Ndola, to secure their place in the finals for the first time since 2015. It was indeed a joyful day for southern Africa as Zambia showed their prowess.
Hakim Ziyech managed to halve the deficit on the hour, but time ran out as the Moroccan team failed to equalize. After finishing fourth in Qatar, the Atlas Lions had beaten Brazil and drawn with Peru and Cape Verde in friendly matches. It’s back to competitive action for Morocco with their visit to Johannesburg.