Defender Jawad El Yamiq pounced on a goalkeeping blunder to give Morocco a 1-0 win over Ghana at the Stade Moulay Abdallah on Tuesday night in an international friendly.
The two nations are playing friendlies in place of the postponed African qualifiers to the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Ghana coach, Charles Akonnor, named a starting eleven without key members of his team like Thomas Partey, number one goalkeeper Richard Ofori, Mubarak Wakaso, and skipper Andre Ayew who was on the bench.
The Atlas Lions started talisman Hakim Ziyech from the bench for the game.
Ghana had the first attempt at goal through debutant Joel Fameyeh on a first-time volley in the 6th minute, but it went wide.
Captain for the day at the start for Ghana, Jordan Ayew, showed strength in the 19th minute with his back facing goal, turned, and produced a shot on target but it didn’t trouble Yassine Bounou.
The best chance of the first half fell to Morocco captain, Romain Sais, who headed down a cross but the ball bounced over the bar by just margins.
Ghana’s good defensive organization in the first half was on display when Daniel Amartey, who’s playing for the Black Stars for the first time in four years due to an injury, took a through ball off En Nesyri.
The Black Stars controlled proceedings at the end of the first half after it was all Morocco throughout the first period as it ended barren.
After recess, Jordan again forced Bounou to make a difficult save in the 54th minute when he got onto the end of a Ghana counter attacker at the right post.
Munir El Haddadi shot straight at Razak Abalora through a free-kick in the 58th minute.
Both coaches had made changes up to this point in the game but it was Vahid Halilhodzic’s that resulted in a goal for the Atlas Lions.
Hakim Ziyech, who was brought on in the 68th minute, went straight to swing in a set-piece that the Ghana goalkeeper missed and Jawad El Yamiq headed into an empty net through bodies to give Morocco the lead.
The Black Stars dominated the game henceforth searching for the equalizer after conceding a scrappy goal.
The Ghanaian attackers began to combine well at the final third, but still couldn’t find the final touch.
Ziyech showed threat with his pace when he stole a ball from Baba Iddrisu in the middle in the 85th minute.
The Chelsea man ran at the Ghana back-line, who were short in numbers after getting a lot of bodies forward, but they managed to salvage the situation.
Jordan, again, displayed some determination when he produced a quality cross from the right side of attack. Yamiq’s attempted clearance came off the body of Sais but didn’t have enough power to get past Bounou.
Yamiq’s effort won Morocco the game in Rabat as they next play Burkina Faso, while Ghana host Cote d’Ivoire in their next friendly all on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
By Abdul Karim Adamu Benin | www.sportyafrica.com