• Press review: North African giants clash in Marrakesh

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco and Tunisia will renew their rivalry when they lock horns in an international friendly match, set to take place at the Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday evening.

    Kick-off is set for 18h00 GMT.

    The Atlas Lions head into the fixture following a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso, with Herve Renard's men eager to build some sort of momentum as they set their sights on Russia.

    The former Ivory Coast and Zambian mentor, who has been linked with the vacant Bafana Bafana coaching position, is set to remain in Morocco as he aims to lead the country to their first World Cup appearance in 20 years.

    Standing in their way of a second successive win - following their quarterfinal exit at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations - is a Eagles of Carthage side also eager to return to the World Cup; having also suffered a last eight exit in Gabon earlier this year.

    Tunisia, though, head into the clash following defeat in their last outing - AFCON champions Cameroon downing the North Africans last week. Vincent Aboubakar’s goal the difference between the two teams.

    Morocco sit in 49th spot in the last FIFA World Rankings with Tunisia in 37th place.

    Moreover, the head-to-head record between the two sides couldn't be more even with two wins apiece in 10 previous encounters - a total of six matches ending all square.

  • Press review: Morocco brush aside Burkina Faso

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco brushed aside Burkina Faso 2-0 in an international friendly match at the Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech on Friday night.

    Herve Renard, the Morocco coach, handed M'barek Boussoufa the team captaincy, while Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Faycal Fajr also started.

    Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte named in-form Ajax Amsterdam striker Bertrand Traore in his starting line-up, while Issoufou Dayo captained the team.

    The deadlock was broken four minutes after the half-hour mark and it took something special to beat Burkina Faso goalkeeper Dauoda Diakite.

    The 28-year-old midfielder Fajr curled the ball into the top corner from outside the box beating Diakite hands down to make it 1-0 to Morocco.

    The Lions of the Atlas managed to hold on to their narrow lead until the match referee blew the half-time whistle and Morocco were leading 1-0 at the interval.

    The home side searched for another goal against the Stallions, who were struggling to contain the Lions of the Atlas, in the opening stages of the second-half.

    It was soon 2-0 to the Lions of the Atlas following a great move by Renard's side much to the delight of the home crowd in the 64th minute.

    Aziz Bouhaddouz, who plays for German Bundesliga Two side St Pauli, was sent through on goal and the striker made it 2-0 with a powerful low shot.

    The Stallions did push for a consolation goal in the late stages of the game, but Morocco held onto their two goal lead and ultimately, they emerged 2-0 winners.

  • Friendly: Morocco beat Burkia Faso 2-0

    Final whistle!

    89' Oualid Azaro replaced Faycal Fajr

    80' Khalid Boutaib replaced Younes Belhanda

    80' Belhanda booked

    74' Mohamed Nahiri replaced Hamza Mendyl

    65' Yacine Bamou replaced Aziz Bouhaddouz

    63' Aziz Bouhaddouz scores for Morocco 2-0!

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1426803180675476/

    53' Soufiane Boufal replaced Youssef En-Nesyri

    Half Time!

    Goal Faycal Fajr for Morocco 1-0, great well placed goal!

    See goal: https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlasLions/videos/1426771197345341/

    Competition: Friendly

    Kick off: 20h00 GMT. 21h00 CET

    Location: Grande Stade de Marrakech

    Morocco starting lineup:

    Munir El Kajoui-Nabil Dirar-Jawad El Yamik-Ghanem Saiss-Hamza Mendyl-Karim El Ahmadi-Younes Belhanda-Mbark Boussoufa (C)-Faycal Fajr-Youssef En-Nasyri-Aziz Bouhaddouz

    LIVE STREAMING VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cElimozlOc&feature=youtu.be

  • NT: Morocco welcome Burkina Faso in Marrakech

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco are set to square off with Burkina Faso in an international friendly match at the Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech on Friday.

    This will be the Lions of the Atlas' first match since losing to Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-final encounter in January.

    Herve Renard, the Morocco coach, has included England-based Sofiane Boufal in his squad. The winger is expected to try and regain his form on national duty.

    The Lions of the Atlas, who will face Tunisia in another friendly game on Tuesday, are using these matches as preparation for the upcoming 2019 AFCON and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

    Meanwhile, Burkina Faso's Stallions are set to return to action for the first time since beating Ghana in the 2017 AFCON third-place encounter last month.

    Paulo Duarte, the Stallions coach, has included Bertrand Traore in his squad. The forward has been in top form for Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam.

    The Stallions, who will be campaigning in the 2019 AFCON and World Cup qualifiers later this year, are scheduled to face Nigeria in another friendly game on Monday.


    (Ligue1.com) OGC Nice midfielder Mounir Obbadi has joined Alassane Plea and Wyland Cyprien on the club's big-name injury list after pulling out of national-team duties with Morocco on Tuesday.

    The versatile midfielder, who arrived at the club from Lille in January, is expected to be out of action for at least a month after injuring his quadriceps in the 1-1 draw in Nantes just before joining up with the Moroccan national team, whose doctors confirmed the injury.

  • NT: Yamiq, Nahiri and Akrad called up

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Herve Renard has called up Jaouad Yamiq, Mohamed Nahiri and Naif Akrad for the friendlies of the Atlas Lions vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia.

  • NT: Faycal Rherras called up for the friendlies vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Faycal Rherras has been called up for the friendlies vs Burkina Faso (24th March) and Tunisia (28th March) as replacement for injured Marouane Da Costa, Youssef Ait Bennasser and for the absence of Medhi Benatia.

  • Press review: FIFA suspends Mali teams, officials for government meddling

    ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it has suspended Mail's teams and officials from international soccer because of government interference in how the federation is run.

    Mali's World Cup qualifying program will not be immediately affected. Its next match is Aug. 28 at Morocco.

  • NT: Benatia turns down Morocco call

    (Football Italia) Medhi Benatia has announced that he will stay with Juventus during the next international break, rather than playing for Morocco.

    The centre-back has won 42 caps for his country, but will not accept a call-up until he is playing more regularly for the Bianconeri.

    “You know the attachment I feel to my country,” Benatia wrote on his Instagram profile.

    “So it’s with great emotion that I have decided to give up the next gathering of the national team until the situation at my club evolves.

    “It’s a difficult decision for me, but one which was well thought-out. You have to look at the evidence, I’m not a starter for my club and it’s therefore difficult for me to be as competitive as I would like for the national team.

    “Despite my lack of playing time, they’ve continued to show faith in me, but now I find it unfair to accept a call-up when I’m short of playing time, taking the place of a player who is more ready.

    “Despite my status as captain, I’m not above the rules and I don’t think it would be correct, out of respect for the Coach, who needs players who are regularly involved with their clubs and players who are performing at their clubs and deserve to be called-up.

    “As you can see, right now I have to do everything to get more playing time with my club. As soon as I get a run of games, and if the national team needs me, I would of course answer the call.

    “For 10 years I’ve always given my all when representing Morocco, despite the difficulties encountered.

    “It always has been and always will be an honour to represent my country.

    “I am, and always will be, the number one supporter of Morocco.”

  • NT: Morocco squad list for friendlies vs Burkina Faso and Tunisia

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Hervé Renard has selected a 25-man squad for the two friendly games, which will both take place in Marrakesh.

    Morocco take on Burkina Faso on Friday 24th March before then welcoming Tunisia on Tuesday 28th March.

    Here is the list:

    1-Yassine Bounou

    2-Munir El Kajoui

    3-Yassine El Kharroubi

    4-Marouane Da Costa

    5-Mehdi Benatia

    6-Fouad Chafik

    7-Nabil Dirar

    8-Abdelhamid El Kaoutari

    9-Achraf Hakimi

    10-Mounir Obbadi

    11-Romain Saiss

    12-Hamza Mendyl

    13-Karim El Ahmadi

    14-Mehdi Carcela

    15-Younes Belhanda

    16-Faycal Fajr

    17-Mbark Boussoufa

    18-Youssef Ait Bennasser

    19-Achraf Bencherki

    20-Yassine Bamou

    21-Khalid Boutaib

    22-Youssef En-Nysseri

    23-Oualid Azarou

    24-Aziz Bouhaddouz

    25-Soufiane Boufal.

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