Morocco 2-1 Brazil: Sabiri winner sees off Selecao

Morocco 2-1 Brazil: Sabiri winner sees off Selecao

Brazil’s first game under interim boss Ramon Menezes ended in defeat as Morocco claimed a 2-1 win in Tangier.

Menezes is in temporary charge after Tite’s reign ended in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.

And his debut in the Selecao dugout proved a frustrating one against the surprise World Cup semi-finalists, as Brazil saw several chances go begging and were ultimately undone by Abdelhamid Sabiri’s 79th-minute winner.

Sofiane Boufal had initially put Morocco ahead, with Casemiro levelling for Brazil courtesy of Yassine Bounou’s dismal error before Sabiri delighted the home crowd

Brazil wasted a gilt-edged chance in the 13th minute when Rony fired over from point-blank range and was again frustrated as, after Noussair Mazraoui fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box at the other end, Yassine Bounou pulled off a remarkable double save.

Having inexplicably passed the ball straight to Rony, Bounou denied him and Andrey Santos in quick succession, and his flushes were spared again when he sliced an attempted clearance straight to Vinicius Junior to lob home, only for the Real Madrid man to be denied by the offside flag.

That reprieve was made all the more important when Boufal tucked into the bottom left corner on the turn after linking up superbly with Bilal El Khannouss.

A Rodrygo volley drew an eye-catching Bounou save three minutes after the restart but the Morocco keeper was finally left red-faced in the 67th minute when he allowed Casemiro’s tame long-range effort to squirm under his body.

Sabiri would not allow Bounou’s error to be decisive, though, and he lashed a volley in off the underside of the crossbar to seal victory with an emphatic finish.

What does it mean? – New-look Brazil misfire

Menezes picked a much-changed squad for this game featuring a host of uncapped players, but the mix of inexperience and established stars like Casemiro and Vinicius did not pay off as the Selecao paid the price for failing to take their chances.

For Morocco, this victory was another demonstration of the fortitude and international pedigree that was on show at the World Cup.

Profligacy punished

Brazil finished the game with an xG of 1.42 compared to 0.63 for Morocco. The better openings consistently fell the way of Brazil, but Morocco were rewarded for cutting edge the Selecao lacked.

Bounou’s eventful evening

Bounou committed one error leading to a goal and was fortunate not to be the cause of at least one more for Brazil, but he recovered brilliantly to atone for his misplaced pass in the first half and his horror show for Brazil’s equaliser eventually proved immaterial.

What’s next?

Morocco host Peru on Tuesday. Brazil are not in action again in this international window.

Full Story: https://www.soccernews.com/morocco-2-1-brazil-sabiri-winner-sees-off-selecao/351036/
TAGS: #Morocco #Brazil #Sabiri #winner #sees #Selecao

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