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Warriors, Morocco in goalless draw

by Sports Reporter
12 Jan 2014 at 21:09hrs | Views
Zimbabwe 0 - 0 Morocco

Zimbabwe and Morocco played to a dreary goalless draw in the opening Group B match at Athlone Stadium on Sunday, 12 January 2014.

Blistering heat, combined with coastal humidity took its toll early on both sides and at the end of the day, the stalemate was the fairest result.

Morocco were the first to make serious inroads and in the 8th minute but George Chigova tipped a dangerous-cross-cum-shot over the bar as both teams seemed content on sizing each other.

With the afternoon temperatures hovering above 30 degrees Celsius, both set of players had a tentative start in a bid to preserve energy.

Morocco's Issam Erraki again fashioned a long range attempt in the 19th minute which just went wide as Morocco continued to forage forward with Zimbabwe offering little creative of their own.
Iajour Mouhssine then saw his free-kick go wide moments later as Morocco continued to probe the Zimbabwe goal area.

Zimbabwe earned their first corner kick in the 35th minute but didn't make it count as the effort was easily cleared to safety.

Zimbabwe then started to show their mettle and forced two more consecutive corner kicks as the sizeable Zimbabwean contingent urged their side on. Simbarashe Sithole could have given the Warriors a lead against the run of play when his free header flew over the bar with five minutes to go to half time.

They almost paid the price when Mouhssine sliced wide his effort and soon after Zimbabwe also fluffed an open chance as the match swung from one end to the other.

Morocco again opened the second half the more purposeful side as Zimbabwe seemed happy to sit back and rely on counter-attacks.

Zimbabwe could have taken the lead in the 64th minute but an attempt by Sithole cannoned off the upright and a follow up from Ali Sadiki was cleared off the line as Morocco breathed a sigh of relief.

Thereafter it was a war of attrition for both sides as fatigue started to creep in on both sides.

Starting line-ups:
Zimbabwe: George Chigova, Eric Chipeta, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Patson Jaure, Milton Ncube, Danny Phiri, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Donald Ngoma, Ali Sadiki, Pasca Manhanga, Simbarashe Sithole.

Morocco: Nadir Lamyaghric, Aderrahim Achchkir, Zakaria El Hachimi, Mohamed Abarhoun, Mohsine Moutaquali, Anas Al Asbahi, Issam Eraki, Walid El Karti, Mohamed Oulhaj, Iajour Mouhssine, Brahim El Bahri,

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Source - Caf