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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Morocco player ratings after going down to Salah-inspired Egypt

19:54 IST 30/01/2022
Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan of Egypt and Aymane Barkok of Morocco
The Atlas Lions surrendered the lead and eventually bowed out of the continental showpiece at the hands of the record champions

GOAL rank Morocco players after a 2-1 loss against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final game at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Sunday.

  • Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

    Yassine Bounou - 5/10

    His first involvement in the game came in the ninth minute when he cleared Mohamed Salah's corner kick before it landed on the path of the intended target.

    He then stopped a ferocious long-range hit by Ayman Ashraf in the 20th minute, as Egypt changed strategy and preferred to try their luck from distance. 

    Bounou was alert to stop another ambitious long-range by Ahmed Abou El Fotouh in the 26th minute as Morocco scrambled to remain intact against the determined opponents.

    The Sevilla star stopped a diving header by Mohamed Abdelmonem in the 52nd minute but conceded to a follow up by Salah. 

    He was helpless as Carlos Queiroz's charges took the lead in the first half of the extra time. 

  • Mostafa Mohamed of Egypt and Adam Masina of Morocco.

    Adam Masina - 5.5/10

    Masina did well to block Omar Kamal in the eighth minute when Egypt attacked down the right-wing just after conceding the opener in the seventh minute. 

    He also blocked Salah just outside the box when the Liverpool man attempted to create shooting space in the 22nd minute.

    Masina faded a little bit in the late stages of the second half and in the extra time giving Salah's side some spaces to exploit at the back.

  • Nayef Aguerd of Morocco.

    Nayef Aguerd - 7/10

    His clearing header in the 35th minute denied Egypt a goal-scoring chance as Omar Marmoush was lurking around at a time the record champions pressed in search of an equaliser.

    He was quick in the 49th minute when he cleared the ball before Mostafa Mohamed could connect and cause havoc right inside the box. 

    Aguerd came close to restoring the lead for the 1976 champions, but his powerful shot was parried by goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal before it hit the crossbar and went back into play.

    Aguerd was an outstanding figure for Morocco despite the loss in the North Africa derby.

  • Romain Ghanem Saiss of Morocco.

    Romain Saiss - 5/10

    aSaiss' 61st-minute clearance denied Egypt's Omar Marmoush an clear chance to double Egypt's lead. Saiss's timely effort proved vital after Morocco's backline was easily breached by the Pharaohs' forward.

    Later, he should have attempted to stop Salah before he proceeded close to the penalty and provided the assist that gave Egypt the lead in the 100th minute.

  • Achraf Hakimi of Morocco.

    Achraf Hakimi - 6/10

    The Moroccan full-back inspired the first big moment of the match after he won a penalty in the fifth minute.

    He was brought down by Ashraf and the penalty was successfully taken by Sofiane Boufal.

    Hakimi could have added the second in the 31st minute, but his free-kick, from just outside the box, flew just wide, thereby wasting a promising chance for the Atlas Lions.

    After a confrontation with Mostafa Mohamed, he received a yellow card in the 78th minute and was not - in the second half - as effective as he was in the first half.

  • Sofyan Amrabat of Morocco.

    Sofyan Amrabat - 4/10 

    He was key in midfield as he won a number of balls back and frustrated Egypt whenever they attempted to launch the attack at the centre of the pitch as Morocco remained solid in the first half. 

    But when Egypt's confidence grew and attacked more in the second half and in extra time, Amrabat was exposed and had problems dealing with the inspired rivals.

  • Selim Amallah of Morocco.

    Selim Amallah - 4/10

    His partnership with Amrabat was key in midfield as they managed to stifle Egypt's efforts to dominate in the opening half.

    He was lucky not to collect a second yellow card in the 70th minute after he cynically brought down Mohamed Elneny before he was replaced by Imran Louza late in the second half.

  • Jose Kante of Guinea is challenged by Aymen Barkok of Morocco

    Aymen Barkok - 5/10

    He was a stabilising figure in the Moroccan midfield as they dealt with an Egyptian side that drew massive inspiration from the Salah equaliser.

    But just like the rest of his teammates, he struggled to contain the record champions late in the second half and in extra time.

  • Sofiane Boufal of Morocco.

    Sofiane Boufal - 7/10

     He broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when they were awarded a penalty after Hakimi was tripped in the box. He sent Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal the wrong way as he gave the Atlas Lions the lead.

    He left the pitch while Morocco looked strong enough to fight against their North African neighbours before they ended up struggling and eventually losing the battle.

  • Munir El Haddadi of Morocco.

    Munir El Haddadi - 4/10

    In his first start of the tournament, he won Morocco a 30th-minute free-kick just outside the penalty box when he was brought down by Elneny. 

    However, he played Salah onside and gave the Egyptian a perfect chance to equalise seven minutes after the start of the second half.

  • Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco.

    Youssef En-Nesyri - 6/10

    Kept asking serious questions on the Egyptian backline and stretched them as he moved from the centre to the wide areas in search of balls at times when Morocco were in control in the first half.

    En-Nesyri made a critical clearance in the last moments of the first half when the Pharaohs attacked and threatened to bring the scoreline level.

    He could not compose himself quickly enough in the 67th minute after he was picked up by Amrabat in a good goal-scoring position and ended up shooting wide. 

  • Soufiane Rahimi of Morocco.

    Soufiane Rahimi - 4/10

    Replaced Boufal in the 65th minute and had no major impact on the outcome of the game.

  • Imran Louza of Morocco.

    Imran Louza - 4/10

    He came on for Amallah in the 86th minute and failed to stabilise the Atlas Lions, who struggled especially in the attacking area when they needed a goal.

  • Ryan Mmaee of Morocco.

    Ryan Mmaee - 3/10

    Mmaee failed to bring a fresh breath to Morocco after coming on for En-Nesyri in the 86th minute.

    Egypt were successful in putting him under check, and that ensured Morocco's striking department remained blunt in the extra time.