Ghana's U23 team were in high spirits after their deserved 3-2 victory over Guinea in matchday 1. The Black Meteors took on U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosts Morocco in Rabat, but things didn't turn out as well as they had hoped for. Let's have a quick rundown of the event; we would also like to see where the outcome of this match leaves both teams on the group table.
Morocco's U23 are flying in the AFCON, a decisive 5-1 thrashing of Ghana yesterday was a serious statement.
All the players who started play abroad… seven were born in Europe to Moroccan parents.
Ez Abde the star of the AFCON so far with three goals and two assists. pic.twitter.com/kqWBVzbreG
— Prince Sobayeni (@PrinceSobayeni1) June 28, 2023
Morocco Dominate the First Half vs Ghana
Unlike Ghana's opening match, it didn't take long for the goals to flow; as Morocco opened the scoring in the sixth minute. Barcelona's Abdessamad Ezzalzouli found Amir Richardson in the box, and the Le Havre midfielder lobbed the ball over Ghana's goalie. The Black Meteors tried to equalize five minutes later, but Emmanuel Yeboah's attempt hit the woodwork.
Ghana's struggles continued as the Moroccans doubled their lead in the 14th minute, thanks to another lob by Ismael Saibari. Interestingly, despite having a two-goal lead, it was the hosts who were piling the pressure on the Black Meteors, trying to find more goals. Morocco finally found another break before the 30 minute mark, as they increased their lead once again.
Beautiful football ⚽️ and Beautiful goal as Morocco 🇲🇦 beat Ghana 🇬🇭 overwhelmingly in the ongoing Afcon U23 .
Qualified teams will represent Africa at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/p3MEVnH4wI
— Collins Okinyo (@bedjosessien) June 28, 2023
In an interesting turn of events, Ghana pulled one back a few minutes before half-time, reducing their deficit to two goals. They found the net once again just two minutes later, but it turned out the ball had gone out of play a few seconds earlier, so their goal was canceled.
Second Half: Ghana's Woes Continue
With the Black Meteors trailing by two goals at the half-time break, they had hoped to claw their way back into the match in the second half. However, any hopes of a comeback were quelled as Abdessamad Ezzalzouli registered Morocco's fourth goal just three minutes into the half. The Barcelona man got his second assist of the day five minutes later, as Yanis Begraoui's 53rd minute goal ensured the Moroccans would go home with all three points. The match ultimately ended 5-1 in Morocco's favour.
Where This Leaves Both Teams on the Group Table
Morocco U23 🇲🇦 5-1 Ghana U23🇬🇭
Due to goal difference, Ghana must win against Guinea whilst Guinea will only need a draw to sail through to the next stage of the tournament.
Good luck on Friday, BlackMeteors.
— King Eben (@King__Eben) June 27, 2023
Although Morocco and Ghana were level on both points and goal difference, the Black Meteors led the group ahead of this clash by goals scored. After their disappointing loss to the host team, Ibrahim Tanko's boys now find themselves in third place. To be fair, Ghana have as many points as second-placed Guinea, but are behind on goal difference. It may interest you to know that a victory in Ghana's last match against Guinea would ensure their survival; any other result not be enough to advance to the semi-finals. On the other hand, Morocco will play in the knockout stages, irrespective of the outcome of their final group match with Congo.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago