The Moroccan under-17 football team qualified for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations (CAN U17) and, at the same time, for the final phase of the World Cup in the category, beating l Algeria, host country, by 3 goals to 0 (half-time 1-0), Wednesday evening in quarter, in Constantine.
The goals of the Moroccan selection were scored by Zakaria Ouazane, author of a double (28th, 57th) and Adam Chakir (86th).
In the semi-final, Morocco will face the winner of the quarter-final, scheduled for Thursday, between Mali and Congo.
Senegal had earlier outclassed South Africa (5-0), also validating its ticket for the World Cup, whose host country has not yet been designated.
National coach Said Chiba’s men started this 100% North African derby on their toes in order to open the scoring as quickly as possible and put pressure on the opponent.
After a clear domination, the Cubs of the Atlas managed to find the fault in the Algerian defense from the half hour of play. Taking advantage of an error from the Algerian left side, Aymane Nair sneaks right side and center in the direction of Zakaria Ouazane who scores with a header (28th).
Two minutes later, Mohammed Hammouni came close to doubling the lead, once again taking advantage of an error by the opposing defence, but Algerian defender Abdelhak Ben Idder intervened at the right time to prevent the Moroccan striker from scoring.
Pricked in their pride, the Algerian players began, timidly, to take risks, but leaving behind them spaces that the Cubs of the Atlas could have exploited on many occasions.
In the 36th minute, the Algerians got their clearest chance to score, when Mohammed Ali Saleh Zayed found himself face-to-face with the Moroccan goalkeeper Taha Benghozil, who manages to save his cages masterfully.
During the second act, the nationals were able to manage their lead, while the Algerians experienced enormous difficulty in finding a breach in the Moroccan defense.
And while the Algerians were chasing after the equaliser, Zakaria Ouazane, well served by Abdelhamid Maali, increased the score in the 57th minute.
This goal reassured the Moroccan players who freed themselves from the pressure and managed to impose their rhythm on this meeting.
In the 86th minute, Adam Chakir sealed the fate of the match by scoring Morocco’s 3rd achievement with a low shot.
Morocco finished the group stage of the CAN U17-2023 group B leader, with six points, thanks to two victories against South Africa (2-0) and Nigeria (1-0) and a defeat (1-2) against Zambia.
Algeria meanwhile ranked 2nd in Group A with four points.
The other two quarters will feature Nigeria and Burkina Faso, as well as Mali and Congo, on Thursday.
The four semi-finalists will win their ticket to the World Cup in the category.