Morocco is the Champion of Africa, Boss! 7 Data & Facts When the Atlas Lions Made World Cup History After Defeating Canada

Morocco, the Lion of Atlas, made history for the African continent on the World Cup stage after the heroism of Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nasyri against Canada.

Al-Thumama Stadium in Qatar witnessed history when Morocco crushed Canada 2-1 in the World Cup, Thursday (1/12) evening WIB, to win Group F.

Hakim Ziyech, who had retired from international football after clashing with former Moroccan coach Vahid Halilhodzic, now became a hero when his goal put the Atlas Lions ahead before even four minutes.

Youssef En-Nesyri doubled Morocco’s lead in the 23rd minute before the first own goal at the 2022 World Cup, scored by Nayef Aguerd, pulled Canada back in the 40th minute.

Below, GOAL presents all the data and interesting facts about the Canada vs Morocco match at the 2022 World Cup…

this time for Africa!
As Shakira says: “This time for Africa!”

Through Morocco and Senegal, two African countries have qualified from the group phase for the second time in a World Cup edition (Algeria and Nigeria in 2014).

Dream of the Atlas Lion
Morocco has only qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup twice, the first being in the 1986 edition. At that time, the Atlas Lions topped the group which was inhabited by three European countries, namely England, Poland and Portugal.

Unfortunately, Morocco’s progress only reached the top 16 after being defeated by West Germany – who eventually finished as runners-up – with a score of 1-0.

Morocco broke the record for more than two decades
None of the African contingents, since Nigeria in the 1998 edition, have been able to win the World Cup group stage. But that record has ended, after Morocco won Group F of the 2022 World Cup.

Even more impressive, they are completely unbeaten (two wins, one draw), surpassing the runners-up and third place in the 2018 World Cup, namely Croatia and Belgium.

Those who have contributed to Morocco: Hakim Ziyech & Youssef En-Nesyri
All of these achievements could not have been realized without the contribution of two goals from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri.

After his heroic performance vs Canada, ZIyech became the third Moroccan player to score and assist in a single edition of the World Cup since Mustapha Hadji and Abdeljalil Hadda in the 2018 edition.

Meanwhile, En-Nesyri became the first Moroccan player in history to score in two different editions of the World Cup (2018 and 2022).

But not everything is beautiful…
Unfortunately this beautiful Moroccan story comes with a few ‘stains’.

They conceded as Canada reduced the deficit to 2-1 before half-time, which was their 100th goal at the 2022 World Cup.

Ironically, the 100th goal was also the first own goal of the 2022 edition, with Nayef Aguerd slotting the ball into his own net. Even more sad, Aguerd’s shot, which should have been annulled for offside, was annulled. Maybe the West Ham defender is just having bad luck.

But anyway, he would not care!

Canadian humiliating record – sore!
Having only participated in the World Cup twice, Canada ALWAYS lost in their six matches. This is the worst 100 percent defeat record in the World Cup, on par with El Salvador.

Canada first took part in this global tournament in the 1986 edition. At that time, they were in Group C which was also inhabited by the Soviet Union, France and Hungary. Then 36 years later, they had the opportunity to compete again for the world title in Qatar 2022. Unfortunately, Canada’s fate in both tournaments ended the same: to be mere ‘cheers’.

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