Morocco sends host Algeria to the stands as spectators with a three-nil drubbing moving to the World Cup final.
…Sets up U17 semifinal clash with the winner of Mali versus Congo tie.
Morocco on Wednesday night at The Mohammed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine sent hosts Foxes of Algeria to the stands to become spectators instead of participants in a 3-0 goal superiority that silenced events planner hoping to paint the country red with celebration.
Morocco thus has set up a possible semifinal clash with Mali if they can live up to expectations to beat Congo in the 3rd quarterfinal.
Zakaria Ouazane slammed a brace on Algeria threatening the long cold war on Nationalism over the Saharawi Republic politics that I reported among the two countries when their senior men’s team clashed at the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan Nigeria at the 1980 African Cup of Nations. The war may be cooling down now but Ouazane collecting an assist from Ennair in the 28th minute scored the first goal also with a pass from Abdel Maali who scored against Nigeria, Ouzane completed the brace at the 57th minute.
Though they were both North African teams, Morocco started showing ‘no paddy for jungle’ signs which is a slang meaning sorry we are not playing now as the team from the 65th minute started ballooning the ball in every direction, wasting time and trying to frustrate every move of the Algerians. They were perhaps deliberating about making foul tackles which hiked the foul calls against Morocco to 23-16 all to waste time.
Then came this beautiful cross pass from Radouane from the right wing which Adam Chakir brilliantly with a deft grass cutter shot to the left of the Algerian Goalkeeper made the 3rd goal of the night. So sad for hosts, Algeria who are now full-time spectators in their organized events.
Morocco and their fellow North African counterpart, Algeria have met a few times, Morocco had beaten Algeria 2-0 on the 10th of July 2010 at the U17 Arab Cup; they played 3-3 draw on 24th March 2010; still, 2010 on the 24th July played a goalless draw and on 23rd December 2011 Morocco won 2-0. At the CAF U17 played on the 20th August 2018 Algeria fell 2-5 to Morocco.
To get to the quarterfinals, Morocco which was in group B with Nigeria topped the group with 6 points like Nigeria but scored 4 goals conceding 2 to beat Nigeria to the second place. Morocco had defeated South Africa 2-0; piped Nigeria 1-0 but lost in the late minutes to Zambia 1-2.
Morocco had 25 shots at goal like Algeria but had 9 shots on target compared with 12 of Algeria. Algeria was more of a beauty to watch stringing an average of 346.7 passes to 310 of Morocco. Algeria was less aggressive with 39 fouls committed to Morocco’s 52 but were flashed with 5 yellow cards to their opponents one yellow card. Algeria had 16 corner kicks to 11 showing that the two teams were either not clinical with corner kicks or their opponents had learnt to diffuse their forays.
Algeria bashed debutante Somalia 2-0 in their first game to do ‘shine shine bobo’ but Senegal licked the team 3-0 in the second game only to play 1-1 draw with Congo in their last group game.
There was nothing spectacular in the match stats for the Morocco versus Algeria match. The stats they had at the group games and previous records show that where the victory pendulum swung to is expected.
Mali will meet Congo at 19 May 1956 Stadium, Annaba tomorrow, Thursday 11th May at 1700 hours and Nigeria will slug it out with Burkina Faso at Nelson Mandela Stadium, Algiers on 11th May at 2000 hours in the third and fourth quarterfinals.
The four semifinalists will represent Africa at the World U17 Cup later in the year.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.