Meknes - There is no doubt that the Moroccan national soccer team has rivaled teams worldwide in the past. When games were aired live on TV, soccer fans filled up popular cafés and stadiums to unleash their patriotism and support their national sport by waving Moroccan flags and singing enthusiastic songs.
Meknes – There is no doubt that the Moroccan national soccer team has rivaled teams worldwide in the past. When games were aired live on TV, soccer fans filled up popular cafés and stadiums to unleash their patriotism and support their national sport by waving Moroccan flags and singing enthusiastic songs.
Do you still remember Mustapha Hajji’s overhead kick? Do you still remember the goal of Salaheddine Bassir in 1998 versus Scotland? Did you watch the spectacular win of Morocco versus Portugal in 1986?
In the midst of this Moroccan sport’s decline, Morocco World News would like to take its faithful readers on a journey to the glory days to reminisce about our greatest national matches.
Morocco vs. Guinea 1976
During the Africa Cup of Nations in 1976 in Ethiopia, the national team did not break its successful stride when it faced Guinea in the final stage and won its first championship.
Although throughout the game Morocco was down by one, Ahmed Makrouh, nicknamed “Baba,” managed to grant Morocco its first championship by scoring a wonderful goal in the last minutes of the match, tying it up with Guinea.
Morocco won the game because at that time the league system, which ranked teams by the number of points they accumulated over a series of matches, gave Morocco the advantage.
Morocco vs. Portugal 1986
In 1986, during the FIFA World Cup in Mexico, the world did not believe the absolute destruction of Portugal by Morocco.
The national team won, three goals to one. Abderazak Khayri was the superstar of the match, managing to score two goals at 19 and 26 minutes. Talented Krimo scored the third goal at 62 minutes, while Portugal’s only goal was by Diamantino Miranda at 80 minutes.
Morocco vs. Scotland 1998
In 1998, during the World Cup in France, Morocco was in a strong squad, along with powerhouses Brazil, Norway, and Scotland. Though Morocco was about to qualify for the second round, Norway carried out a plot along with Brazil to eliminate the Atlas Lions.
However, the national team made Moroccans proud through their electrifying performance during their match versus Scotland. Giant striker Salaheddine Bassir was the leading goal-scorer; he scored two goals at 22 and 85 minutes, and Abdeljalil Hadda scored the second goal of the game at 47 minutes.
Morocco vs. Norway 1998
Although the national team tied with Norway in their World Cup match in 1998 in France, Moroccan golden footballers heroically displayed their talents and patriotism. Thus, it was the best Arabic and African team in the World Cup.
Fabulous goal-scoring midfielder Mustapha Hadji scored Morocco’s first goal in the first half, and giant Abdeljalil Hadda scored a fantastic goal at 59 minutes.
Driss Benzekri, the Moroccan goalkeeper, was outstanding, making great saves in the match.
Morocco vs. Algeria 2004
During the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004, in Tunisia, the Atlas Lions revived Moroccan sport after a long absence.
Moroccan footballers were the stars of the tournament, yet somehow they failed to win the championship.
The match versus Algeria in the quarterfinal of the championship was one of the most glorious matches of the tournament.
Algeria scored its first goal in the second half, but the magnificent Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh managed to equalize the game in the last minute before the added time of the second half. At the beginning of extra time, attacking midfielder Youssouf Hadji gave the national team the lead. Afterwards, Moroccan playmaker Jaouad Zairi scored the definitive goal that advanced the national team to the semifinal.
Morocco vs. Egypt 1998
Legend Mustapha Hadji was the Moroccan Cristiano Ronaldo in the 1990s. Moroccans all over the world still remember his memorable overhead kick versus Egypt in the Cup of Nations in 1998, the goal that advanced the Atlas Lions to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Morocco vs. Algeria 2012
The match between Morocco and Algeria was regarded as the derby of the region. During the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in 2012, the Atlas Lions beat Algeria 4-0. Golden defender Mehdi Benatia managed to score the first goal at 25 minutes. At 38 minutes Moroccan star Marouane Chamakh scored the second goal.
In the second half, attacking midfielder Youssouf Hadji demoralized the Algerian team by scoring the third goal at 61 minutes. At 67 minutes Moroccan playmaker Oussama Saidi mesmerized spectators through a wonderful goal.
Edited by Esther Bedik
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