RABAT, August 21, 2019 – It was with great sadness and a heavy heart that the Moroccan Under-20 team left the football field after losing to their counterpart Burkina Faso 2-0 on the 20th of August, 2019 at the Sports Center of FAR, located in Salé.
The match, led by the Somali referee, Abdulkadir Artan Omar, was held on the second day of the men’s football tournament (group A) organized as part of the 12th edition of the African Games 2019.
Overall, the Moroccan team dominated the match, especially in the first half time and got the chance to showcase their skills, especially Khalid Ait Ouarkhane and Ismail Moutarajji – donning jerseys number 8 and 10 respectively. Both players were very remarkable on the field. Unfortunately, the Moroccan young players failed to apply enough power to their play. On the other hand, the Burkinabes had two scoring opportunities that they seized to defeat the host country.
The first goal was scored by the Burkinabe defender, Ibrahim Ouattara, in the first half (33rd minute of the game), then midfielder, Elliass Dianda, swiftly added the second goal 14 minutes into the second half.
For his part, Moroccan national Under 20 team coach, Jamal Sellami, expressed his disappointment with the performance of his players, saying that they did not play “up to expectations”.
He added: “The opposite team managed to make both scoring opportunities come true, while our players were having a concentration problem, especially after the second goal that put a lot of pressure on them. However, a new game awaits us; we must review ourselves for the upcoming play-off match against Nigeria.”
The game against Nigeria is surely going to be a hard challenge for the Moroccans, as they will be facing an opponent stronger than Burkina Faso. Morocco are left with two choices; either a draw or a win. It unquestionable that “the Moroccan national team must redouble its efforts if it really wants to qualify”, according to sports journalist, Moussavou Billa.
While Burkina Faso were shouting for joy after winning the game, Moroccan fans left the half-empty stadium with saddened and disappointed faces hoping that their players would perform better in the upcoming match.
It should be noted that the Morocco were declared winners by default on the first day of the men’s football tournament, organized two days before the official launch of the African games 2019, and that was after the South African team failed to show up on time for the match.