The World Cup surprise team Morocco has duped record world champions Brazil and cemented its current place in the concert of the greats. The North Africans, fourth at the World Cup in Qatar, defeated the Selecao 2-1 (1-0) in Tangier. The former German U21 international Abdelhamid Sabiri (79th) decided the duel in the final phase.
For Brazil it was another setback after the completely disappointing Winter World Cup in Qatar. The title contender had failed there in the quarter-finals against eventual third party Croatia, and national coach Tite had to go as a result. The search for a successor is still in full swing: From Morocco, association president Ednaldo Rodrigues is now making a short hop over to Europe to talk to preferred candidates. The players had repeatedly spoken out in favor of Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti in the past few weeks.
In a balanced duel with many nicknames among the players, the Moroccans made use of the lack of coordination in the Selecao’s defence, in which interim coach Ramon Menezes only allowed five players from the World Cup quarter-finals against Croatia to start. Superstar Neymar was injured.
At the first major defensive mistake by the guests, who fielded a total of six new internationals, Sofiane Boufal (29th) brought the 65,000 fans in Tangier into ecstasy with the opening goal. Casemiro equalized in the 67th minute and Sabiri found an answer to seal what was only Brazil’s third loss to African rivals.