• Transfers: Alaves loan Munir

    By Football Espana staff

    Alaves have officially signed Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi on a season-long loan.

    A statement on Alaves’ website confirms it is a dry loan for Munir, with no option for a permanent transfer.

    The 22-year-old broke into Barca’s first team three years ago and picked up his one and only Spain cap aged just 19.

    However, he failed to kick on and spent last season on loan at Valencia as part of Paco Alcacer’s move to Camp Nou, scoring seven goals in 36 appearances.

    Munir could partner Bojan Krkic, another Blaugrana old boy, in a new-look, Alaves attack this term.

    Read more...
  • Press review: Morocco trounce Mali to go top

    (Supersport.com) Morocco went top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with an empathic 6-0 victory over Mali at the Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat on Friday night.

    The win takes Morocco to five points from three matches in Group C, one point above second placed Cote d’Ivoire who are in action against Gabon on Saturday.

    Gabon are third in Group C with two points from two matches while Mali are last with one point from three games.

    Morocco took control of the tie from the opening whistle and made their pressure tell with the game’s first goal in the 19th minute when Hakim Ziyech found the back of the net, 1-0.

    Morocco doubled their lead eight minutes later when Khalid Boutaib slotted the ball home with a clinical finish, 2-0.

    Mali did not offer much in attack and defended with all their might to go into the break only trailing by two goals.

    Any chance of a fight-back from Mali were dealt a massive blow in the 57th minute when they were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Bakaye Dibassy after receiving a second yellow card.

    On the hour mark Hakim Ziyech put the result beyond doubt with his second goal of the night and his country’s third, 3-0.

    Matters went from bad to worse for the visiting Mali when they were reduced to nine men following the sending off of Mohamed Konate in the 67th minute after his second booking as well.

    The icing on the cake for Morocco was their fourth goal, scored by Achraf Hakimi in the 72nd minute, 4-0.

    Mali tried to defend as best they could after that with their nine men, but they could not finish the night without conceding two more goals – substitutes Faycal Fajr and Mimoun Mahi scoring for Morocco in the 86th and 89 th minutes respectively, 6-0.

    Morocco (2) 6 (Ziyech 19’ + 61’, Boutaib 27’, Hakimi 72’, Fajr 86’, Mahi 89’)

    Mali (0) 0

    Morocco: Munir, Amrabat (Tannane 74’), Belhanda, Benatia, Boussoufa, Boutaib (Mahi 80’), Dirar, El Ahmadi (Fajr 85’), Hakimi, Saiss, Ziyech.

    Mali:Sissoko, Wague, Dibassy, Traore, Kouame (Kone 64’), Bissouma (Couilbaly 78’), Diaby (Doumbia 66’), Konate, Marega, N’Diaye, Sylla.

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  • AFWCQ 2018: Morocco trashes Mali 6-0!

    Final Whistle!

    See all goals: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1581649238524202/

    92' Belhanda booked

    88' Mimoum Mahi scores in debut for Morocco, 6th goal vs Mali

    86' Stunning goal by Fycal Fajr, Morocco's 5th vs Mali

    85' Faycal Fajr replaced Karim El Ahmadi

    80' Mimoun Mahi replaced Khalid Boutaib

    74' Oussama Tannane replaced Nordin Amrabat

    71' Achraf Hakimi scores Morocco's fourth goal against Mali tonight

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1581636801858779/

    67' Konate from Mali sent off

    62' Hakim Ziyech scores a superb goal, the third for Morocco vs Mali

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1581624595193333/

    57' Dibassy from Mali sent off

    27' Khalid Boutaib doubles the scoring for Morocco 2-0 vs Mali

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1581593205196472/

    19' Morocco score from penalty spot by Hakim Ziyech

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1581585451863914/

    Two chances to score for Boutaib

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCjZkFPdU7Q

    Competition: AFWCQ 2018

    Location: My Abdellah Complex, Rabat

    Kick off: 20h00 GMT, 22h00 CET

    MOROCCO starting line up vs Mali:

    Munir El Kajoui-Achraf Hakimi-Nabil Dirar-Mehdi Benatia (C)-Ghanim Saiss-Karim El Ahmadi-Mbark Boussoufa-Youness Belhanda-Hakim Ziyech-Nourdin Amrabat-Khalid Boutaib

    Live streaming video: www.arryadia.com

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  • Transfers: Short news

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Oussama Tannane has joined Las Palmas on loan from St Etienne

    Achraf Lazaar has joined Seria A side Benevento on loan from Newcastle.

    Sofian Kiyine has joined Serie B side Salernitana on loan from Chievo.

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  • AFWCQ 2018: Three battles which will decide Morocco v Mali

    (Africanfootball.com) AfricanFootball looks at three key battles which will decide the outcome of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Morocco and Mali in Rabat on Friday night.

    Walid Azaro v Mahamadou N’Diaye

    Morocco have struggled for many years to find a striker who can burden the responsibility of leading their attack, and in youngster Walid Azaro they have a player who could be a star of the future. The 21-year-old Al Ahly forward will be eager to establish himself in the Atlas Lions side, but he faces a tough opponent in the shape of Mahamadou N’Diaye, an experienced centre-back who has been to three Africa Cup of Nations with the Eagles and is regarded as one of their current generation’s best defenders.

    Mbark Boussoufa v Yacouba Sylla

    Mbark Boussoufa is a hugely experienced attacking midfielder and Morocco coach Herve Renard will be expecting the 33-year-old to direct his team’s attack on Friday night. The man looking to stymie his efforts will be Mali’s captain Yacouba Sylla. The 26-year-old French-born player - who completed a move from Rennes to Panathinaikos this week - is tough in the tackle and covers plenty of ground. The midfield battle between these two players will be vital in determining the outcome of the match.

    Medhi Benatia v Kalifa Coulibaly

    Atlas Lions coach Renard scored a major coup by convincing defender Medhi Benatia to return to the national team. The Juventus centre-back will bring solidity, composure and experience to the heart of Morocco’s defence, providing them with the foundation to build the rest of the team on. Benatia’s direct opponent is likely to be Kalifa Coulibaly, a powerful striker who stands almost two metres tall and scored a goal in Mali’s 2-1 win over Gabon in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers just a few months back.

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  • World Cup qualifier: Morrocco,Mali clash in Rabat in search of first wins

    Morocco and Mali will both be looking for their first wins in Group C of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when they meet at Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat on Friday night, kick-off at 10pm CAT.

    Morocco have played to two draws in their campaign thus far, holding Gabon 0-0 away before playing out a stalemate at home to group leaders Ivory Coast. The North Africans are second on the standing on two points, two behind the Elephants.

    Mali, meanwhile, are bottom of the standings on one point. They lost their opener 3-1 away to Ivory Coast and could only manage a goalless stalemate at home to Gabon in their second outing.

    The Eagles will be desperate to pick up a positive result against the Atlas Lions and keep alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time. Yet coach Alain Giresse is wary of the threat posed by Morocco.

    “[Morocco] is a good team, the players are experienced and have played for big clubs. They rely on a well-oiled collective and use a variable system,” the Mali coach told the press.

    The Frenchman added, “We have to get back on our feet, because the two matches that are waiting for Mali are very important.

    “We will take care not to make the same mistakes as the opening game against the Elephants.

    “We will have to be supportive and very disciplined tactically because in Bouaké we played with three or four youngsters and it was very difficult.”

    Giresse’s counterpart is compatriot Herve Renard, who has won a major battle in convincing experienced defender Mehdi Benatia to return to the national team set-up.

    Renard, who won the Africa Cup of Nations with both Zambia and Ivory Coast, has also recalled Hakim Ziyech, handed maiden call-ups to Mohamed Ounajem, Amine Khammass and Soufiane Alakouch, as well as leaving out big names like Zouhair Feddal and Sofiane Boufal.

    Morocco and Mali have not been regular combatants down the years, meeting in just 17 matches across all competitions according to Fifa’s statistics database.

    The Atlas Lions have the better record, but only just: they have seven victories compared to five for the Eagles, while five matches have been drawn. The North Africans have managed an impressive 25 goals in that sequence, while conceding just 12.

    The teams will be meeting in World Cup qualifiers for the first time. Their most recent match against each other was a friendly played at the Stade de Marrakech in Morocco on 6 March 2013. The Atlas Lions claimed a 2-1 win on home soil.

    Cameroonian referee Sidi Alioum will take charge of the match in Rabat. The return game will be played at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on September 5.

    http://www.soka25east.com/world-cup-qualifier-morroccomali-clash-rabat-search-first-wins/

    Read more...
  • WC2018 qualifiers: Morocco, Mali look for first Group C wins

    Morocco and Mali will both be looking for their first wins in Group C of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when they meet at Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat on Friday night, kick-off at 10pm CAT.

    Morocco have played to two draws in their campaign thus far, holding Gabon 0-0 away before playing out a stalemate at home to group leaders Ivory Coast. The North Africans are second on the standing on two points, two behind the Elephants.

    Mali, meanwhile, are bottom of the standings on one point. They lost their opener 3-1 away to Ivory Coast and could only manage a goalless stalemate at home to Gabon in their second outing.

    The Eagles will be desperate to pick up a positive result against the Atlas Lions and keep alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time. Yet coach Alain Giresse is wary of the threat posed by Morocco.

    “[Morocco] is a good team, the players are experienced and have played for big clubs. They rely on a well-oiled collective and use a variable system,” the Mali coach told the press.

    The Frenchman added, “We have to get back on our feet, because the two matches that are waiting for Mali are very important.

    “We will take care not to make the same mistakes as the opening game against the Elephants.

    “We will have to be supportive and very disciplined tactically because in Bouaké we played with three or four youngsters and it was very difficult.”

    Giresse’s counterpart is compatriot Herve Renard, who has won a major battle in convincing experienced defender Mehdi Benatia to return to the national team set-up.

    Renard, who won the Africa Cup of Nations with both Zambia and Ivory Coast, has also recalled Hakim Ziyech, handed maiden call-ups to Mohamed Ounajem, Amine Khammass and Soufiane Alakouch, as well as leaving out big names like Zouhair Feddal and Sofiane Boufal.

    Morocco and Mali have not been regular combatants down the years, meeting in just 17 matches across all competitions according to Fifa’s statistics database.

    The Atlas Lions have the better record, but only just: they have seven victories compared to five for the Eagles, while five matches have been drawn. The North Africans have managed an impressive 25 goals in that sequence, while conceding just 12.

    The teams will be meeting in World Cup qualifiers for the first time. Their most recent match against each other was a friendly played at the Stade de Marrakech in Morocco on 6 March 2013. The Atlas Lions claimed a 2-1 win on home soil.

    Cameroonian referee Sidi Alioum will take charge of the match in Rabat. The return game will be played at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako on September 5.

    https://www.supersport.com/football/africa/news/170829/Morocco_Mali_look_for_first_Group_C_wins

    Read more...
  • WC2018 qualifiers: Head-to-head focus: Morocco v Mali

    AfricanFootball looks at the head-to-head record between Morocco and Mali ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifying clashes.

    These two teams have not been regular combatants down the years, meeting in just 17 matches across all competitions according to FIFA’s statistics database.

    The Atlas Lions have the better record, but only just: they have seven victories compared to five for the Eagles, while five matches have been drawn. The North Africans have managed an impressive 25 goals in that sequence, while conceding just 12.

    The teams will be meeting in World Cup qualifiers for the first time when they face off in their upcoming Group C matches: September 1 at the Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat and September 5 at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako.

    Their most recent match against each other was a friendly played at the Stade de Marrakech in Morocco on 6 March 2013. The Atlas Lions claimed a 2-1 win on home soil.

    Morocco v Mali - Overall record

    Matches played: 17

    Morocco wins: 7

    Mali wins: 5

    Draws: 5

    Morocco goals: 25

    Mali goals: 12

    Read more...
  • Transfers: Omar El Kaddouri joins Greece side PAOK on a permanent deal from Empoli

    Transfers: Omar El Kaddouri joins Greece side PAOK on a permanent deal from Empoli

    Read more...
  • WC 2018 qualifiers: Morocco squad list vs Mali

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Herve Renard has selected 27 players for the WC2018 qualifier against Mali in Rabat on Sep 1st.

    Here's the squad list:

    1-Munir El Kajoui - Numancia

    2-Yassine Bounou - Girona

    3-Yassine El Kharroubi - WAC

    4-Marouane Da Costa -Başakşehir

    5-Medhi Benatia - Juventus

    6-Romain Saiss - Wolverhampton

    7-Amine Khammas - Racing Genk

    8-Sofiane Alakouch - Nimes

    9-Jawad Yamiq - RCA

    10-Achraf Hakimi - Real Madrid

    11-Nabil Dirar - Fenerbahce

    12-Oussama Tannane - St Etienne

    13-Karim El Ahmadi - Feyenoord

    14-Youssef Ait Bennasser - Caen

    15-Youness Belhanda - Galatasaray

    16-Hakim Ziyech - Ajax

    17-Faycal Fajr - Getafe

    18-Mbark Boussoufa - Al-Jazira

    19-Nourdin Amrabat - Watford

    20-Mehdi Carcela - Olympiakos

    21-Mohamed Ounajem - WAC

    22-Mohamed Fouzair - Al-Nasr

    23-Aziz Bouhaddouz - St Pauli

    24-Mimoun Mahi - FC Groningen

    25-Rachid Alioui - Nimes

    26-Walid Azarou - Al-Ahly

    27-Khalid Boutaib - Malatyaspor.

    Read more...

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