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World Cup: a found Hakim Ziyech sends Morocco to the 8th


Thanks to its star returning to its best level, the Moroccan selection dominated Canada (2-1) to qualify for the round of 16.

Little used at Chelsea, midfielder Hakim Ziyech opened the doors to the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup for the Moroccan selection, from which he remained away for more than a year, by scoring the first goal in the decisive victory against Canada (2-1), this Thursday.

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With seven points in three matches, having beaten Belgium (2-0) and held Croatia (0-0), vice-world champions, these Atlas Lions have already surpassed the generation of 1986, who qualified with two draws and a victory against Portugal (3-1), before falling against Germany (1-0), an opponent they could find next Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals.

We knew that one of the big strengths of this selection was his right flank and his terrible duo Ziyech-Achraf Hakimi, the latter being the decisive passer on the second goal, scored by Youssef En-Nesyri (23rd).

But it is indeed the former Ajax Amsterdam who, at 29, liberated an Al-Thumama stadium very largely won over to the cause of the Maghrebians, from the 4th minute.

This goal was offered on a set by Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who clumsily came out of his area and who, hesitating between a control and a clearance, only pushed the ball in the race of Ziyech who lobbed it. 'an almost tranquil inside of the left foot.

The return of the banished

This goal completes the reconciliation of the player with a selection from which he was first dismissed in September 2021 by the coach at the time, the very intransigent Vahid Halilodzic.

His behavior in the last two matches, especially the last, was not worthy of an international who, as one of the leaders of the team, must have an example role

”, had railed the Bosnian .

On February 3 again, faced with popular pressure, he remained inflexible: “

his behavior is not adequate with that of the selection.

He doesn't want to train, doesn't want to play, isn't serious.

I'm not going to beg him to come!


Six days later, Ziyech announced that he was quitting the national team.

It's my final decision.

It's very clear to me, the way things are going there and I'm concentrating on what I'm doing and there, right away, it's on my club

, ”he said.

But two months later Halilodzic was sacked and one of new coach Walid Regragui's first decisions was to bring the outcast back.

Author of a goal in preparation against Georgia (3-0) and an assist against Belgium, Ziyech had already demonstrated what he can bring.

People shouldn't underestimate us because we have a strong squad and we've already shown that.

hakim ziyech

Against Canada, he again created danger by transplanting in the center before hitting above (16th) or by passing legs against Sam Adekugbe, but his cross between the legs of the defender did not find a taker (22nd ).

Replaced fifteen minutes from the end and acclaimed by the public, he will still be one of the main assets of the Lions of Morocco on Tuesday.


We have done so much to get here, but we want to go even further (...) we have to think big if we want to achieve anything

", he explained a few days ago on the Chelsea website.


We know we're underdogs in most games, but people shouldn't underestimate us because we have a strong squad and we've shown it

," he added.

This World Cup is in any case a welcome break for the player who never convinced with the Blues after his transfer from Ajax for 38 million euros, two years ago.

This season again, he has only played five league matches, including one as a starter, against modest Southampton.

Despite the three years remaining on his contract, a departure this winter is quite possible, especially since AC Milan would be interested.

And the Qatari date can speed things up.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-12-01

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