Zimbabwe, Morocco play to a dull, goalless draw

2014-01-13 00:00

ZIMBABWE and Morocco played to a goalless draw in the opening game of their Group B Caf African Nations Championship at Athlone Stadium yesterday.

The first half was a rather dull affair as both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball and create a sustained period of pressure.

Instead, it was a game characterised by poor passing and poor decision-making in the final third of the field.

Consequently, chances on goal were few and far between. Morocco, though, did have the better opportunities in front of goal.

In the eighth minute, Issam Erraki fired a 25-metre set-piece into the defensive wall, but was quickest to react and pounce on the rebound, but again he was disappointed as the keeper produced a great save to deny him.

The majority of the half saw the ball rattle around the midfield as no team took control of the match.

The next effort on goal came in the 40th minute as Zimbabwe’s Donald Ngoma got on the end of a corner-kick, but his header from six metres went narrowly wide.

The start of the second 45 was also a cagey affair as both teams sat back in defence.

Morocco, though, should have scored 10 minutes after the restart as Zakaria el Hachimi curled an effort inches wide from just inside the box.

In the 64th minute, Zimbabwe struck the post as Simbarashe Sithole let loose from just outside the box, the rebound then falling to Ali Sadiki who saw his attempt superbly saved by keeper Nadir Lamyaghri.

Ten minutes later and Ali Sadiki tried his luck on goal again from a tight angle way out, but his effort went wide of the goal.

In the 79th minute, Abdessamad Rafik beat a couple of defenders before firing on goal, but his attempt was easily saved by George Chigova. However, neither team could go on to find the winner.

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