Goals from captain Romain Saiss, midfielder Azzedine Ounahi and forward Youssef En-Nesyri ensured that Morocco open their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a victory 3-0 over 10-men Tanzania in Group F at Stade Laurent Pokou on Wednesday evening.
Saiss scored the opener in the opening 30 minutes after his side won a free-kick capitalising on the second ball after Hakim Ziyech’s shot was punched away.
Ziyech could have also scored in the first half with a powerful shot but the Tanzania goalkeeper made a super save. Morocco with their dominant first half performance took the 1-0 lead into the break.
The Taifa Stars returned for the second half with better determination and taking shots. Novatus Dismas gook a chance from range in the opening minutes of the stanza but that went high and wide.
Morocco had a chance to extend their lead through En-Nesyri from an Ounahi pass however the forward couldn’t finish. Ounahi tried his own luck six minutes after the hour mark however his shot went way over the top corner.
With 20 minutes left on the clock Tanzania lost Dismas who received his second yellow card for a foul on Ounahi.
Five minutes later Ounahi finally scored Morocco’s second goal and a few minutes later En-Nesyri knocked in the final nail in Tanzania’s coffin on their way to topping the group.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists are the first North Africa side to bag maximum points at the tournament so far as Egypt were held by Mozambique, Algeria were also held by Angola and Tunisia losing to Namibia.