Sensation at the African Cup of Nations: Morocco, finalist 2004 and quarter-finalist of the last edition, was eliminated from the eighth by Benin (1-1, 4 tab 1), reduced to ten and novice to stage the competition, Friday in Cairo.
The men of the French Hervé Renard are flying their dreams of a new title, they who have not won the CAN since 1976. For the players of his counterpart and compatriot Michel Dussuyer, the moment is historic. After having climbed for the first time in eighths, here they are in quarters. All this without having won a match, since they have just chained a fourth draw.
The three short victories of Morocco (1-0) and three draws, including two 0-0, Benin in chickens, did not augur an offensive deluge. Fears have been confirmed.
Dominator, Morocco has long stumbled on a Benin well grouped. As from the beginning of the tournament, the Lions of the Atlas have been almost harmless to the image in the first half of Hakim Ziyech, still not successful: far-reaching shot hijacked (28th) and free kick largely to side (36th). Or Younès Belhanda with a shot unscrewed shortly before the half hour of play.
By dint of clumsiness, the Moroccans ended up being punished on set kick. Deprived of their striker Steve Mounié, suspended, the Beninois Squirrels found the fault thanks to a central defender, Moïse Adilehou, author of a successful recovery after a corner (53, 1-0).
- Ziyech cursed -
The entry of former Lille player Sofiane Boufal shortly before the hour of play was good for Moroccans. But it is ultimately a mistake Auxerre defender and former Caennais Jordan Adéoti who allowed Youssef En-Nesyri to equalize (75th, 1-1) and register his second goal in this CAN.
In added time, Ziyech had the ball of the qualification at the end of the foot on penalty. But the nugget of Ajax Amsterdam, decidedly next to his crampons, sent his shot on the post (90 + 4) and offered an extension and hopes to the Squirrels.
New rebound in the 97th minute when the Beninese found themselves at 10 after the exclusion of Amiens defender Khaled Adenon, for a second yellow card. Heroic, they held until shots on goal. A session perfectly executed by Benin.
In contrast, Moroccans Boufal and En-Nesyri have failed in their attempts, leaving the Squirrels fly to the quarters where they will be opposed to Senegal or Uganda.
? 2019 AFP