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Morocco rolls to win over Sudan in World Cup qualifying opener

Sudan kept the match close, but in the end the Atlas Lions of Morocco emerged as 2-0 victors at home in Rabat to move top of Group I in FIFA World Cup qualifying. Stade Rennais defender Nayef Aguerd scored his first international goal before an own goal in the second half put the result beyond doubt for the Moroccans. The favorites to win the group will travel to Conakry to face Guinea in an important match in the home of the team most likely to challenge for top spot.

Morocco nearly went up in the opening minute when a long ball found Zakaria Aboukhlal sneaking in behind the Sudanese defense, but his header was well saved from close range by keeper Ali Aboeshren. The hosts continued to threaten with Queens Park Rangers playmaker Ilias Chair standing out for his ability to create for his teammates. In the 10th minute, Chair came up with some smooth dribbling moves on the left flank before lifting a high cross to the edge of the six-yard box. Aguerd popped his header up and muscled off two Sudanese defenders as he waited for the ball to drop before volleying past Aboeshren.

Sudan had a couple of opportunities to keep it from being a domination by Morocco, but there was not too much in the way of clear opportunities. The teams went into halftime with Morocco leading 1-0 before early in the second period, it was Chair who provided the touch that would put the match away. Chair’s 53rd minute corner kick was headed back towards him, where the 23-year-old collected and dribbled towards the goal. With time to line up his effort, Chair opted to blast a shot on goal despite the tight angle and provided a clean strike that deflected off an oncoming Sudanese defender before flying by Aboeshren.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

FIFA TV Highlights

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