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AFCON U-17: Double from Ouazane gives Morocco victory over rivals Algeria in Constantine

A Maghreb derby quarterfinal on Wednesday with much at stake saw Morocco defeat 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations hosts Algeria by a 3-0 score to claim passage to the semifinals as well as qualification to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Zakaria Ouazane scored twice and Adam Chakir fired in Morocco’s third goal to complete a decisive victory in Constantine that qualifies Morocco to their second U-17 World Cup. Morocco will play the winner of Thursday’s match between Mali and Republic of Congo in the semifinals.

The match had a tense atmosphere rarely seen in matches between U-17 national teams and both teams were content to avoid early mistakes. Morocco began to take control of the match after the opening twenty minutes and seized on a mistake by the Algerian defense to take the lead in the 28th minute. Morocco winger Aymen Ennair snuck around an Algerian defender to chase down a punt from goalkeeper Taha Benrhozil and provided a perfect cross for Ouazane to head past Mastias Hammache in the Algerian goal.

Algeria nearly responded before halftime when a poorly executed Moroccan free kick resulted in Algeria’s Ziad Saleh being sent in behind the Moroccan defense by Moslem Anatouf’s flicked header. Benrhozil was quick off his line to close down Saleh’s shot and Morocco remained in the lead by the break.

Morocco moved beyond reach in the 58th minute when Abdel Hamid Maali produced a splendid pass that split the Algerian defense to set up an open shot for Ouazane who made no mistake. Chakir completed a decisive victory for Morocco with his well struck shot from Mohamed Radouane’s cross in the 86th minute.

Highlights from the match are below.

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