A second half burst that saw Morocco score two goals in two minutes was the difference in the Atlas Lions’ 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying victory over Liberia on Monday in Casablanca. A penalty kick from Faycal Fajr was quickly followed up by Youssef En-Nesyri’s strike to secure Morocco’s first place spot in Group K with six points from two games. Liberia and South Africa both have zero points following each team’s defeat to Morocco, setting up two games between the two sides in September that are likely to determine who finishes second.
Forced to host their home fixture against Morocco due to lacking a suitable home stadium, Liberia did brilliantly in the first half to restrict the Moroccan attack and neither team could find a breakthrough. It was always going to be difficult for the Lone Star to create opportunities moving forward and Morocco dominated possession throughout. Romain Saïss came the closest to opening the scoring before halftime when his 42nd minute free kick was curled just over the bar of Tommy Songo’s goal.
It did not take Morocco long to finally satisfy their supporters after halftime when Amine Harit embarked on a dazzling dribbling run, blowing by a Liberian defender before being tripped up by Moussa Sanoh. Veteran midfielder Fajr stepped up and placed his spot kick just beyond the diving Songo to give the Atlas Lions the lead.
About a minute elapsed before Morocco had doubled their lead. A sloppy giveaway by Liberia in the midfield allowed the Moroccan attack to put together a series of passes before Azzedine Ounahi collected the ball in the penalty area and slipped a clever pass to En-Nesyri. The Sevilla striker had the goal at his mercy before firing past Songo to put the match away.
Highlights from Casablanca are below.