AFCON 2023: Morocco’s Atlas Lions roar past Tanzania’s Taifa Stars


Morocco launched their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign with a commanding 3-0 victory over a tenacious but ultimately outclassed Tanzania.

The match, a tale of David versus Goliath, saw the Moroccans, boasting players from Europe’s elite leagues, assert their dominance against a Tanzanian side yet to taste victory at an AFCON finals.

Despite facing a team with players from England’s fifth-tier, Morocco initially struggled to break through Tanzania’s resilient defense.

The game’s first critical moment came from Moroccan maestro Hakim Ziyech.

His scorching free-kick was too challenging for Tanzania’s goalkeeper Aishi Manula, who could only deflect the ball into the path of Romain Saïss.

Saïss, seizing the opportunity, scored his second international goal since 2017, giving Morocco a slender lead at halftime.

Coach Walid Regragui, however, appeared discontent with the narrow margin, given his team’s superior quality.

Tanzania’s uphill battle became steeper 20 minutes from time when Novatus Miroshi, after a reckless challenge, received his second yellow card, reducing the Taifa Stars to 10 men. This turning point signaled the beginning of Morocco’s dominance.

They capitalized on their numerical advantage when Azzedine Ounahi effortlessly found the net, exploiting the weary legs of the Tanzanian defenders.

Youssef En-Nesyri further widened the gap, cementing Morocco’s superiority in a game that could have seen an even more significant margin had Tanzania not shown commendable defensive grit.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, Tanzania’s spirited performance against a far more experienced Moroccan side was noteworthy.

They showcased commendable resilience, especially in defense, but ultimately, the quality and depth of the Moroccan squad prevailed, setting them off on a confident start in their AFCON journey.

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