Africa Cup of Nations last 16, Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo – Morocco 2 (En-Nesyri 45’, Hakimi 70’) Malawi 1 (Mhango 7’)
A sensational free-kick from Achraf Hakimi lifted Morocco to a 2-1 win over Malawi and into the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.
Malawi’s Gabadinho Mhango gave his nation a shock lead in the first half with arguably the goal of the tournament from 35-yards out, but a thumping header from Youssef El Nesyri and Hakimi’s set-piece booked Morocco’s place in the last eight.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s side, considered one of the favourites to win the tournament, will play Ivory Coast or Egypt in the next round.
Morocco began the game firmly on the front foot and were piling numbers forward from the first whistle, but Mhango stunned the Atlas Lions with a goal of the year contender in the seventh minute.
The 29-year-old Orlando Pirates striker picked the ball up near the halfway line before he fired a vicious curling strike beyond the helpless Yassine Bounou in goal for his third goal of the tournament.
Mhango came close to scoring again in the 22nd minute as he broke behind the Morocco defence, but he dragged his low strike just wide.
After Watford midfielder Imran Louza hit the bar 10 minutes later, Malawi goalkeeper Charles Thomu was extremely busy. He made great diving saves to deny Hakimi and Sofiane Boufal from close range.
But on the stroke of half-time Morocco got a deserved equaliser through En Nesyri, powerfully heading in a fine Selim Amallah cross at the far post.
Morocco continued to push for a winner in the second half and they got it in stunning fashion in the 70th minute as Hakimi curled his sublime free-kick into the top corner.
BY JAMES KILPATRICK – African Football News – Follow us on Twitter @football_sierra On Facebook & Instagram: Football Sierra Leone.
Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande has named his troops for the African Cup of Nations 2023 qualifying matches against Mauritius and Sierra Leone next month. Guinea-Bissau will kick start their campaign in Morocco against Mauritius on June 9 before the Djurtus trip to...
EFL Championship Middlesbrough have confirmed the signing of Sierra Leone international midfielder Kamil Conteh this summer. The 19-year-old, who was named in the Sierra Leone African Cup of Nations squad for qualifying matches on June 9th and 13th, respectively, will...
The Mauritius senior national team have won their protest to join Sierra Leone and others in Group A of the African Cup of Nations 2023 qualifiers. The MFA says that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has finally communicated its decision following the...