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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Morocco edge out a stubborn Ghana side in Rabat for friendly win

Morocco’s Atlas Lions came out on top over the Black Stars of Ghana in Tuesday’s friendly, winning 1-0 in a tightly contested match in the the Moroccan capital of Rabat. Despite missing captain Thomas Partey, the Black Stars put up quite a fight with makeshift captain Jordan Ayew leading the side. Ayew put the only shot on target in the first half with a speculative 13th minute effort from distance that gave Atlas Lions keeper Yassine Bounou no trouble. In the 22nd minute Morocco came close from a corner kick but the resulting header bounced over Razak Abalora’s goal.

Ayew was on the prowl for a goal again in the second half, unleashing a blast from a tight angle in the 55th minute that required a little more effort from Bounou to keep out but still was comfortable for the Sevilla custodian. However, despite an underwhelming effort on the day, Morocco provided the moment of quality needed to separate themselves from their West African opponents. A 68th minute free kick was served in from out wide and Ghana keeper Abalora failed to make contact with his punch, leading to the ball bouncing high in the air in front of the Ghanaian goal before Jawad El Yamiq provided the final touch to muscle it in.

Ghana did well to stay organized while providing the occasional threat, but never were able to create a clear cut chance and ultimately fell due to Abalora’s costly error. Highlights of the match are below.