Stalemate at Athlone Stadium

CHAN logo (File)
CHAN logo (File)

Cape Town - Zimbabwe and Morocco have played to a goalless draw in the opening game of their Group B CAF African Nations Championship at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.

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-yard 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-yards 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 ten 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 fell to Ali Sadiki who saw his attempt superbly saved by 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.

Neither team could go on to find the winner as the match ended all-square.

Teams:

Morocco: Nadir Lamyaghri, Zakaria El Hachimi, Abderrahim Achchakir, Mohamed Oulhaj, Mohamed Abarhoun, Issam Erraki, Anas Al Asbahi, Brahim El Bahri (Abdelkabir El Ouadi 86’), Walid El Karti (Abdessamad Rafik 75’), Mohsine Moutaouali, Mouhssine Lajour

Zimbabwe: George Chigova, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Eric Chipeta, Partson Jaure, Milton Ncube, Donald (Nelson Mazivisa 72’) Ngoma, Pascal Manhanga (Tawanda Muparati 46’), Danny Phiri, Kuda Mahachi, Simbarashe Sithole (Charles Sibanda 82’), Ali Sadiki

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