After stalling against Mauritania on the first day, Morocco won in Burundi on Tuesday (November 19th) (3-0). For its part, Côte d'Ivoire lost to Ethiopia (2-1).
The Moroccans (Group E) had a bad start to the CAN 2021 qualifiers against a strong team from Mauritania. The Atlas Lions had conceded a draw on his lands (0-0). And for the new coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, it was not the best debut for his first official match, he had just chained four friendlies without a win.
First goal in selection for Noussair Mazraoui
But on the synthetic ground waterlogged in Burundi, Moroccans have raised the bar. After dominating the start of the game, the Moroccans opened the scoring with a goal from Noussair Mazraoui in the 27th minute. The Ajax defender enjoys a ball released by the Burundian goalkeeper following a free kick by Hakim Ziyech to score for the first time in selection. Five minutes earlier, Jonathan Nahimana had repelled a shot by Youssef En Nesyri. He also made a save on a shot from Ziyech (10th) and a shot by Faycal Fajr (8th).
Always in the first period, Youssef En Nesyri profits from a scramble in the surface to double the stake. Just before, Jonathan Nahimana had repelled the first attempt of the Leganes striker. At the end of the second half, Achraf Hakimi hit the nail with the third goal of the Atlas Lions (83).
A good operation for Morocco that has not yet fully digested the elimination in the round of 16 of CAN 2019 by Benin. Burundi, which qualified for the first time in the finals of the CAN 2019 in Egypt suffered its second defeat after that conceded in the Central African Republic.
Ivory Coast in check in Ethiopia
At the same time in Group K, Côte d'Ivoire was moving to Ethiopia. The Elephants won the first day of a contested penalty shoot-out against Niger thanks to AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessié, but without shining.
Max Gradel had missed the first, having played the ball to his teammate Nicolas Pepe. If it was a minimum service for the Ivorians, this time they were beaten by the Walya (2-1). However, Serge Aurier opened the scoring very quickly in the 4th minute. But the Ethiopians have found the fault twice with Surafel Dagnachew (16th) and Shimelis Bekele (26th).
Côte d'Ivoire will face Madagascar on the third day while Morocco will face the Central African Republic.