• CHAN 2018: CAF to announce CHAN 2018 hosts on Saturday

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea will know their fate this weekend regarding hosting the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship.

    The Confederation of African Football is set to decide the new hosts of the tournament on Saturday as the three countries tabled bids to replace Kenya as hosts.

    The international tournament for locally-based players is due to kick-off in January and the decision will be made at an emergency CAF executive committee meeting.

    Although CAF inititally announced that a decision may have come as early as the weekend of October 07-08, it will now come this weekend.

    On the other hand, the BBC reports that the Africa Cup of Nations organising committee met on Wednesday and CAF president, Ahmad reaffirmed that Cameroon are still set to host the 2019 finals.

    "At no time had any consideration been given to revisiting decisions already taken in conformity with the provisions of the Statutes and leading to the designation of Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea, as host country of the next three editions in 2019, 2021 and 2023," a statement read.

    "Our role is to best accompany Cameroon, which organizes in 2019, in a new format, to properly fill in the list of requirements of the host agreement."

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  • Press review: The Week in Numbers

    (FIFA.com) 8 hours and 45 minutes: that is how long Morocco have gone without conceding in Russia 2018 qualifying. Goalkeeper Munir’s heroics have left Morocco requiring a draw from their final preliminary away to Côte d'Ivoire to reach a first World Cup since 1998 and deny their hosts going to the global finals for the fourth time in succession.

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  • NT: Zouhir Feddal back?

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Zouhir Feddal apologies to coach Herve Renard and is ready to defend Morocco in the future again via a personal declaration on Twitter.

    The Betis defender announced last month that he will never play under Renard again.

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  • U21: Morocco lose 4-0 away in friendly against Italy

    U21: Morocco lose 4-0 away in friendly against Italy

    See goals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1J66sZI6MU

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  • South Korea 1 Morocco 3: Tannane double seals comfortable win

    Morocco continued their fine run of form with a 3-1 friendly win over South Korea, with Oussama Tannane scoring twice for the Atlas Lions.

    Oussama Tannane was at the double as Morocco eased to a 3-1 victory over South Korea in Biel, Switzerland.

    Las Palmas forward Tannane's last goal came in November 2016 for Saint-Etienne against Angers, but he finally ended his drought with two early strikes for Herve Renard's team.

    Morocco – who face a crunch clash with Ivory Coast next month as they look to secure a first World Cup appearance since 1998 – added a third through Ismail El Haddad early in the second half before Tottenham forward Son Heung-min grabbed a consolation for South Korea from the spot.

    It only took Tannane seven minutes to open the scoring as the striker fired Amine Harit's pass into the top left corner.

    With his barren run over, Tannane then doubled his tally four minutes later with a composed finish past Kim Jin-hyeon.

    South Korea's problems got even worse just after the break as El Haddad converted another Harit pass, the Wydad Casablanca forward netting his first international goal.

    Son reduced South Korea's deficit just after the hour but it was not enough to spark a comeback, leaving Shin Tae-yong's men to contemplate a second successive defeat since sealing their place at Russia 2018.

    Read more at https://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/news/south-korea-1-morocco-3-tannane-double-seals-comfortable-win#gWRfdYRC0ttwMXIS.99

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  • NT: Morocco beat South Korea 3-1 in friendly

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco lined up a "B-Team" against South Korea and won in this friendly by 3-1. Goal of Morocco by Oussama Tannane (2X) and Ismail El Haddad. South Korea scored from penalty spot.

    Final Whistle!

    2 minutes of additional time

    66' South Korea reduced the score to 3-1 from penalty spot

    See goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVXQOm2yrP0

    47' El Haddad scored Morocco's 3-0 against South Korea

    See goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqYKsOlfMkg

    Half Time!

    1 minute of additional time!

    min 10' Oussama Tannane doubles the scoring for Morocco vs South Korea 2-0

    See goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtaUSHGd9Hw

    7' Oussama Tannane opens the scoring for Morocco

    See goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrTF-Fcq-cE

    Match is underway!

    Kickoff: 13h30 GMT, 15h30 CET

    Competition: Friendly

    Location: Tissot Arena · Biel, Switzerland

    MOROCCO starting line up vs South Korea:

    Bounou-Banoun-Chafik-Yamiq-Nahiri-Ait Bennasser-Fajr-Harit-Tannane-El Haddad-Mahi

    Live streaming video: http://arryadia.snrt.ma/

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  • Press review: Gabon boss Camacho backs Aubameyang dodgy orange juice claim

    (ESPN) Gabon coach Jose Antonio Camacho has backed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's claim that the nation's World Cup qualifying bid was sabotaged by dodgy orange juice.

    Gabon striker Aubameyang complained in a tweet that the orange juice at breakfast had left half the team and staff with stomach problems ahead of their crucial African Group C qualifier in Morocco on Saturday.

    Gabon lost 3-0 in Casablanca to see their hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup ended.

    "I also was affected," Camacho told Cadena Ser. "We believe it was the orange juice because those that did not have it were fine. I just had a sip so I didn't have a lot but I still spent the morning of the game going from my bed to the toilet.

    "I was the least affected but it left you tired. Half of my team and staff had stomach pains and diarrhoea throughout the day of the game. They had to constantly go to the toilet. It's strange that this happened the day of the game but that's the reality."

    Former Spain coach Camacho says his players had warned him that this could happen after experiencing a similar situation at the African Nations Cup.

    "The issue of food was just very strange," he said. "You feel perplexed that nowadays this can happen. My players had already warned me to expect something like this.

    "I was told by them that they had had a similar situation in the African Nations Cup. They said that we had to be wary, they didn't trust anything. Some players wouldn't eat at the hotel.

    "We went to eat outside the hotel at 1 p.m. in a restaurant and then hid in a hotel bedroom to have tea at 5 p.m. This disrupts your schedule, the team's rest. These are things that affect you when you are playing such an important game. It should not happen in professional football."

    Gabon had won 2-1 at Ivory Coast on Sept. 5 but they were a shadow of themselves against Morocco.

    "The team gave a very good image against Ivory Coast but against Morocco, my team didn't look like itself," Camacho said. "We lacked energy, the team looked tired on the pitch. My players weren't in the right condition to play such an important game.

    "Morocco were superior to us and we don't have the standard yet that Morocco has but we still had our options going into that game. Now we have lost them."

    Gabon end their World Cup qualifying campaign at home against Mali on Nov. 11.

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  • MARC WILMOTS: THE MATCH AGAINST MOROCCO WILL BE LIKE A FINAL

    (AfricanFootball.com) The Ivory Coast v Morocco match in Abidjan match in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers next month has been likened to a final by Elephants coach Marc Wilmots.

    The Elephants dropped off the summit of Group C this past weekend after they were held 0-0 by Mali in Bamako, allowing Morocco to leapfrog into first place with a 3-0 win over Gabon.

    The top two teams will meet in Abidjan in the final round of matches next month, with Morocco needing only a draw to secure a place in Russia 2018.

    Ivory Coast, meanwhile, must defeat the Atlas Lions to reclaim first place and secure a berth at their fourth successive World Cup.

    Wilmots believed his defence did a superb job in keeping Mali at bay, and also cited their injury problems as a contributing factor in their failure to win.

    “Overall, there was a dominance of Mali which is a very difficult team to play at home,” said the Belgian coach, as quoted by Fratmat.

    “The defence was in place but I think it was the whole team that made the effort,” added Wilmots.

    “The attackers participated in this work. Notably Roger Assalé and Maxwell Cornet.

    “We had a lot of injuries before this game. We had to rebuild a team and quickly. This is the first time this midfielder has played together.”

    The Elephants coach concluded, “We took a point on this game. We will have a final in Abidjan that we must win against Morocco.”

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  • Press review: Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco set for World Cup

    JOHANNESBURG - Tunisia, Senegal and Morocco are well placed to complete in November the five-nation African line-up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Nigeria and Egypt secured places at the weekend with home victories over Zambia and Congo Brazzaville respectively, leaving eight countries hunting the other three slots.

    Tunisia or the Democratic Republic of Congo will qualify from Group A and Morocco or the Ivory Coast from Group C.

    All four Group D teams - Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and South Africa - can win the mini-league.

    AFP sport analyses the Africa zone qualifying competition ahead of the final fixtures between November 6 and 14:

    Group C

    Morocco take a one-point lead over the Ivory Coast to west Africa for a pressure-packed showdown that will determine which of the countries goes to Russia.

    The pressure is on 2006/2010/2014 qualifiers Ivory Coast as they must win having been held 0-0 in Mali at the weekend and overtaken when Morocco thumped Gabon 3-0 in Casablanca.

    Morocco last competed at a World Cup in 1998 and are banking on France-born former Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard to end a run of four failed qualifying campaigns.

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  • NT: Korea looking to end winless streak in football friendly vs. Morocco

    By Yonhap

    South Korea will try to end their winless streak in international football when they take on Morocco this week.

    South Korea, ranked 51st in the latest FIFA rankings, will face No. 56 Morocco at Tissot Arena in Biel/Bienne in Switzerland on Tuesday. This is the second friendly match for South Korea after they qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last month.

    South Korea have not collected a win in their last five matches. Since they beat Syria at home in the final Asian World Cup qualifying round in March, the Taeguk Warriors have racked up three draws and two losses. The victory against Syria is South Korea's only win in 2017 so far.

    South Korean head coach Shin Tae-yong is also eyeing the possibility of his first win since he took the helm in July after Uli Stielike's ousting. Under Shin's control, South Korea had scoreless draws with Iran and Uzbekistan, and their latest friendly against the World Cup hosts Russia in Moscow on Saturday ended in a 4-2 defeat after giving up two own goals.

    South Korea`s national football team players leave the pitch after suffering a 4-2 defeat to Russia in a friendly match at the VEB Arena in Moscow on Oct. 7, 2017. (Yonhap)

    Morocco are coming off a 3-0 win over Gabon in their World Cup qualifying match Saturday. Although they have yet to secure their spot at the 2018 World Cup, Morocco are currently leaders in Group C in the third round of the African World Cup qualifying tournament with just one match left to play. In Africa, only the group winners earn a World Cup berth.

    South Korea have played Morocco once. In March 1996, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw.

    Shin has called up 23 players for friendlies in Europe, but none of them are from domestic K League clubs. This is the first time that a South Korean squad has been made up entirely of overseas-based players. The 46-year-old coach previously said he would only select players from outside South Korea because the K League-based players are not available due to their club schedules.

    Due to limited player selection, Shin had to use an unconventional three-man defense system against Russia. Without a natural left back, he deployed left-footed center back Kim Young-gwon on the left, while starting Crystal Palace midfielder Lee Chung-yong as a right wing back. Center back Jang Hyun-soo also moved like defensive midfielder on some occasions, allowing South Korea to switch from a back three to a back four during the match.

    Shin is expected to take a similar tactical approach against Morocco, but with different personnel. Shin previously said he plans to test all the field players in friendlies.

    Shin tested 17 players in the friendly against Russia, leaving six members -- goalkeepers Gu Sung-yun and Kim Jin-hyeon; defenders Rim Chang-woo, Kim Kee-hee, and Song Ju-hun; and midfielder Kim Bo-kyung -- on the bench.

    Shin, who previously managed South Korea's under-23 and under-20 squads, is mostly likely to make a change in the back three system. Against Russia, Kwon Kyung-won, Jang Hyun-soo and Kim Ju-young were at the back, but they failed miserably by surrendering four goals, with Kim putting the ball in his own net twice in a two-minute span.

    In the midfield, South Korean captain Ki Sung-yueng will likely play, but it's uncertain whether he will play the full 90 minutes. The Swansea City anchorman played about 30 minutes as a second half substitute against Russia and saw national team action for the first time in nearly four months. He had knee surgery in June after South Korea's World Cup qualifier against Qatar.

    Shin's side will also expect Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min to score goals for the national team. The 25-year-old has been quiet in South Korea's last eight matches. He last scored a goal for South Korea on Oct. 6, 2016, in a World Cup qualifying match against Qatar.

    Morocco will likely provide tough test for South Korea, but the head coach, Frenchman Herve Renard, might not field their best players since they have to be fully ready and injury-free for a crucial World Cup qualifying match next month. Morocco are scheduled to face second-placed Ivory Coast away on Nov. 11 and the winner of this match will advance to the World Cup in Russia.

    The South Koreans will have to be aware of Khalid Boutaib, who scored a hat-trick against Gabon on Saturday, and will have to unlock a defense led by Mehdi Benatia, who plays for Italian giants Juventus. (Yonhap)

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