• WC2018 Qualifiers: Morocco out to demolish Gabon

    Morocco will be gunning for a victory at home as they welcome Gabon for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

    Fresh from a 6-0 win and a 0-0 draw against the Eagles of Mali last month, the hosts will want to claim a convincing win.

    The Lions of Atlas are favourites to book a spot in Russia next year and winning their matches at home is seen as a step towards that mission.

    Coach Herve Renard's men sit at number two in the Group C with six points from one win and three draws, but will be motivated at home.

    Looking at the Panthers, Gabon occupy the third spot with five points with two draws, one loss and one win.

    Although they failed to bag a win at home in the first match last year, the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations hosts will be under pressure to secure a win.

    A win for them will see them up to eight points and topple their hosts, but Morocco will have nine points if they win.

    The World Cup Qualifier will be staged on Saturday at the Stade Mohammed V at 21:00 (CET).

    http://africanfootball.com//news/731067/Morocco-out-to-demolish-Gabon

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  • 2018 WCQ - AfricanFootball looks at the permutations for Group C

    AfricanFootball.com takes a closer look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today we focus on Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon and Mali.

    Where and when are the games?

    Friday 6 October

    Mali v Ivory Coast - Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako - 21h00 CAT

    Saturday 7 October

    Morocco v Gabon - Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca - 21h00 CAT

    Who needs what to qualify?

    This one of the more open groups in the qualifiers and none of the four teams have been mathematically eliminated. In fact, leaders Ivory Coast cannot guarantee a place in Russia 2018 even if they win in Mali on Friday and the other game on Saturday between Morocco and Gabon ends in a draw.

    That scenario would see the Elephants lead by three points with one round to go, and would be the closest any of the teams can get to qualification in this round of games.

    What’s likely to happen?

    Tough to say, but given that Mali held both Gabon and Morocco to goalless draws in their previous home matches, it wouldn’t be stretch to imagine the Eagles frustrating the Elephants in Bamako on Friday night.

    This would open the door for Herve Renard’s Morocco to overtake his former team at the top of the log with a win at home to Gabon. The Atlas Lions recorded a 6-0 thrashing of Mali in their last home game and will believe a victory over the Panthers is well within reach.

    Whatever happens this weekend, we know that qualification can only be decided in the final round of matches next month, most likely in the showdown between Ivory Coast and Morocco.

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  • Press review: Achraf Hakimi, the First Moroccan Player in the History of Real Madrid

    By Realmadridnews.com 2-10-2017

    Achraf Hakimi made history yesterday with Real Madrid. He became the first Moroccan footballer to play with Los Blancos an official game in La Liga. Before, they played two Spanish footballers born in the African country: Heliodoro Castaño (1955-58) and José Luis Peinado, Pepegoles (1964-76).

    Danilo’s departure opened the possibility for Achraf Hakimi to participate in the squad. Dani Carvajal got injured after playing all the games in the start of the season and he needed to have some rest. Actually, he’s not even going with the Spanish national team. Nacho, the other player who could play as a right back, had to play on the left because Theo and Marcelo were injured. So the only option Zidane had was Achraf. And he played a great game.

    Achraf didn’t suffer and he defended his right side successfully. Although he’s usually very offensive, this time he tried to defend more. However, we could see a great dribbling in the 13th minute but he’s cross wasn’t perfect. He was the third player with more balls stolen, only after Sergio Ramos and Casemiro.

    “Achraf was so concentrated that we didn’t have the feeling that this was his first game. He did it great”, Zidane said in press conference after the game. “If Dani is not with us, Achraf is the second right back and he’s going to play”, the manager confessed.

    Achraf was very happy after the game: “This is a day I will never forget”, he said. “I’m going step by step and I’ll give the best minutes”, the player announced after the game.

    Achraf is a son of immigrants and he arrived to Getafe when he was very little. However, Achraf joined Real Madrid soon after and he’s been working with La Fábrica since he was very little. Now he has accomplished his dream to make the debut with Real Madrid but the path is very long.

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  • Morocco vs Gabon: Short News

    NT: Jawad El Yamiq, Ismail El Haddad & Marouane Da Costa will miss the clash against Gabon due injuries.

    Badr Banoun called up along with Fouad Chafik who replaced Hamza Mendyl (injury)

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  • 2018 WCQ - AfricanFootball looks at the Group C head-to-heads

    AfricanFootball.com takes a closer look at the team head-to-heads leading into this weekend’s round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Today’s focus is on Group C: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Gabon and Mali.

    Group C fixtures

    Friday 6 October

    Mali v Ivory Coast - Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako - 21h00 CAT

    Saturday 7 October

    Morocco v Gabon - Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca - 21h00 CAT

    Mali v Ivory Coast

    Matches played: 25

    Mali wins: 2

    Ivory Coast wins: 16

    Draws: 7

    Mali goals: 17

    Ivory Coast goals: 47

    Last meeting: Ivory Coast 3-1 Mali, 8 October 2016, Stade Bouake

    Mali World Ranking: 76

    Ivory Coast World Ranking: 54

    Mali World Cup appearances: 0

    Ivory Coast World Cup appearances: 3 (2006, 2010, 2014)

    Morocco v Gabon

    Matches played: 14

    Morocco wins: 6

    Gabon wins: 5

    Draws: 3

    Morocco goals: 21

    Gabon goals: 12

    Last meeting: Gabon 0-0 Morocco, 8 October 2016, Stade de Franceville

    Morocco World Ranking: 56

    Gabon World Ranking: 79

    Morocco World Cup appearances: 4 (1970, 1986, 1994, 1998)

    Gabon World Cup appearances: 0

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  • CHAN 2018: Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia and Morocco battle for 2018 CHAN hosting

    October 2 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia and favourites Morocco have all stepped in to bid to stage the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) following the ruling to strip Kenya of hosting rights.

    At its meeting on September 23, CAF’s Executive Committee decided to complete the process of selecting a new host country for the tournament, scheduled for January, within 15 days.

    A CAF inspection team visited Kenya in mid-September and found that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the event.

    It is the second time Kenya has lost the right to stage an African football competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.

    CHAN, now in its fifth edition, is a competition that brings together 16 national teams made up of players who compete in their national championships. The successful bid will be announced next weekend.

    http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2017/10/02/equatorial-guinea-ethiopia-morocco-battle-2018-chan-hosting/

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  • CHAN 2018: Equatorial Guinea and Morocco submit bids to host 2018 CHAN

    (BBC) The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has confirmed that two countries, Equatorial Guinea and Morocco, have submitted bids to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

    Morocco confirmed their bid on Saturday, with Equatorial Guinea - who staged the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations - the only other country to submit a bid before the deadline passed.

    Caf are looking for new hosts to replace Kenya who lost the rights after failing to meet the African football body's requirements.

    The successful bid will be announced next weekend.

    The biennial tournament is for locally-based players only.

    It is set to be staged from 12 January to 4 February 2018.

    Read more...
  • CAF Confed Cup: Confederation Cup holders TP Mazembe seize narrow semi-final advantage

    (BBC) TP Mazembe of the DR Congo continued the defence of their Confederation Cup title with a 1-0 home win over FUS Rabat of Morocco in the first leg of the semi-finals.

    In Sunday's other last four tie, South Africa's SuperSport United came from behind to salvage a late 1-1 draw with Tunisia's Club Africain in Pretoria.

    Mazembe - who were the most impressive quarter-final winners with a 7-1 aggregate win over Sudan's Al Hilal Obied - found goals much harder to come by against FUS on Sunday in Lubumbashi.

    The reigning champions struck early, with Ben Malango putting Mazembe in front in the 14th minute, his sixth goal of the tournament this season.

    The hosts pushed hard to increase their lead but were left frustrated by a solid FUS defence, to keep their advantage to just one goal heading into the second leg in Rabat in three weeks' time.

    In Pretoria, Tunisia's Club Africain secured a precious away goal, but will be disappointed to have conceded late against home side SuperSport United.

    The Tunisians went ahead through captain Saber Khalifa who hit a 21st minute penalty, and they withstood some intense pressure from the hosts thereafter.

    SuperSport got their breakthrough in the 89th minute when substitute Thabo Mnyamane took a penalty which was saved, only for Mnyamane to tap in off the rebound.

    Both return legs will take place on Friday 20 October 2017.

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  • CHAN 2018: Morocco officially bid to replace Kenya as hosts of 2018 CHAN

    (BBC) Morocco have confirmed they are bidding to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) after Kenya was stripped of hosting rights last weekend.

    The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced on its website that it wanted to stage the tournament to "embrace the youth of the continent and enable them to have a promising future."

    Morocco had already qualified for the biennial tournament which is only for locally-based players.

    It is set to be staged from 12 January to 4 February 2018.

    Kenya lost the right to host the 2018 event following a Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee meeting in Accra.

    A Caf inspection team visited Kenya from 11 to 17 September 2017 and found that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the event.

    It is the second time Kenya has lost the right to stage an African football competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.

    Caf say the bidding process for new hosts is open until Sunday 1 October, with the successful country being named a week later.

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  • NT: Fouad Chafik has been called up as replacement for Hamza Mendyl who is not fully fit to play

    NT: Fouad Chafik (Dijon) has been called up as replacement for Hamza Mendyl who is not fully fit to play against Gabon.

    Read more...

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