The Atlas Lions of Morocco scored a late goal at the Al Salam Stadium to defeat Namibia 1-0 in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament as they opened Group D on Sunday, June 23, 2019.
The afternoon match-up produced one of the tough games of the tournament so far with the Warriors presenting a well-organized defense to keep out the well-fancied attack of Morocco led by Eredivisie player of the season, Hakim Ziyech.
Namibia, despite being forced to sit back and do a lot of defending managed to keep the Moroccan attackers at bay, denying them any clear cut opportunity that would have resulted in a goal in the first half.
South Africa is expected to play Cote d’Ivoire in the other Group D match on Monday, June 22, at the same venue. The team that wins that fixture will move to the top of the standings.
Having upped their game in the second half, Herve Renard’s men could still not break down the defense of Namibia until the dying minutes of the match when defender Itamunua Keimuine headed a free kick from Hakim Ziyech into his own net.
From there on there was no coming back for the losers who had been chasing play for most parts of the match. Whiles Morocco goes into their second match with confidence, Namibia will have to win at all cost in their second match to have any chance of progressing into the knockout stage.