Ziyech found Belgium 'easier' to play against than Croatia in famous Morocco win

By Sports Desk November 27, 2022 867

Hakim Ziyech says Morocco found it "easier" to face Belgium than Croatia after they moved top of World Cup Group F with a 2-0 win over the Red Devils.

Belgium were favourites to secure what would have been a record ninth consecutive victory in a World Cup group game at Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday.

Morocco were worthy winners, though, following up a goalless draw with Croatia by taking all three points in Doha.

Romain Saiss got on the end of Abdelhamid Sabiri's set-piece to open the scoring and Zakaria Aboukhlal sealed a famous victory for the Atlas Lions in stoppage time.

Ziyech was named man of the match after having a first-half goal disallowed for offside and providing an assist for Aboukhlal in the closing stages.

The Chelsea winger said: "The first game was more difficult for us. We couldn't play our game, Croatia played a very good game. This one was perhaps easier, especially in midfield. They may have made more mistakes than the Croats.

"We played a very strong, robust game, especially in defence. We were waiting for their mistakes and I think we took the lead from that and scored at the right time."

Ziyech added: "I don't deserve this player of the match trophy. It's a collective effort, everyone was behind me, it's a collective work."

The former Ajax man felt Morocco's vociferous fans played a big part in a huge win in the battle for a place in the round of 16.

He said: "After 60-70 minutes some were tired and when we scored that goal they rallied behind us. It gave us more power, more power. The crowd helped us, they were behind us and I think that really boosted us."

Morocco’s victory over Belgium was their first in five World Cup matches and put their fate in their own hands heading into a final group game against Canada next Thursday.

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Last modified on Sunday, 27 November 2022 12:44
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