January 14, (THEWILL) – Morocco advanced to the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 with a 2-0 win against Comoros on Friday, with goals from Selim Amallah and Zakaria Aboukhlal giving them a comfortable pathway.
At the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Amallah opened the scoring in the first half, and Aboukhlal added a second late on as the Atlas Lions made it two wins out of two in Group C after a 1-0 triumph over Ghana in their opening encounter, securing their place in the knockout stage.
In the 16th minute, Ayoub El Kaabi’s shot was blocked in the lead-up to the opener and Standard Liege midfielder Amallah displayed tremendous calm in the penalty area, latching onto a loose ball and scoring with his right foot.
Before the halftime, Nayef Aguerd nearly extended Morocco’s advantage when he met Sofiane Boufal’s corner with a spectacular header that rattled the crossbar.
With time running out, a poor pass from goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina, who was in the middle of the action forced him to bring down Zakaria Aboukhlal in the area. The keeper however redeemed himself when he saved the ensuing penalty kick from Youssef En-Nesyri with seven minutes remaining.
Still, Comoros suffered a second defeat even with Ben Boina keeping a dominant Morocco at bay until Aboukhlal sidefooted home in the 89th minute. VAR called the goal after Aboukhlal was initially judged offside.
It was a result that left the AFCON debutants at the basement of Group C with dimming chances of advancing beyond the initial stage of the continental competition.