Morocco beat plucky Namibia with last-gasp own goal

Reuters , Sunday 23 Jun 2019,
Views:693
Morocco
Morocco's players celebrate their goal (Photo: AFP)

A last-minute own goal handed Morocco a narrow 1-0 victory over plucky Namibia at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday in a far-from-convincing start from one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Substitute Itamunua Keimune botched an attempted clearance and headed the ball into his own net at the end of a free kick from Morocco midfielder Hakim Ziyech in the 89th minute of the opening Group D game at the Al Salam Stadium.

Morocco coach Herve Renard, who has won two Cup of Nations titles, had warned that the opening game for many of the tournament favourites may be difficult and his forecast proved true as Namibia goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua produced several key stops.

But his heroics did not extend to the last minute as Morocco took all three points in fortuitous circumstances.

The free kick evaded several defenders before the bounce caught out Keimune who inadvertently steered it past his own goalkeeper in a heartbreaking outcome for underrated Namibia, playing in just their third Cup of Nations.

Kazapua saved several efforts throughout the game, including a quick-thinking scramble with an outstretched leg in the 72nd minute, to keep Morocco at bay, with the 47th-ranked team in the world expected to have a comfortable start.

Morocco dominated a game in hot temperatures where the tempo was languid but looked increasingly desperate as the game wore on.

Renard brought on three strikers in the second half with Sofiane Boufal proving lively but also off-target with his efforts.

The other two teams in Group D -- Ivory Coast and South Africa -- play their opening game on Monday. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:

 

ADD COMMENT

 
 
 
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

More news

More
Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1