WORLD CUP: Late goals give Morocco stunning win over Belgium

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Morocco caused the latest shock at a World Cup that has been full of surprises by beating Belgium 2-0, thanks to late goals by Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was at fault for the first goal, inexplicably allowing Sabiri’s inswinging free-kick to beat him at his near post with 17 minutes to go.

But the whole Belgium side paid the price for a ponderous performance, with Morocco capping a magnificent second-half display when Aboukhlal fired Hakim Ziyech’s cutback into the roof of the net in stoppage time.

That sparked wild celebrations in the stands of Al Thumama Stadium from thousands of Morocco fans, who had created a raucous atmosphere from the start.

The result means Morocco move above Belgium to the top of Group F on four points, with Croatia and Canada meeting later on Sunday.

Few surprises had seemed on the cards early on. After surviving a high-tempo and helter-skelter approach from Canada – their first opponents in Group F – Belgium’s initial job this time was to break down Morocco’s massed defence.

They managed it within the first five minutes, when Thorgan Hazard sent Michy Batshuayi running clear, but he was denied by Munir Mohamedi, a late replacement in the Morocco goal after Bono was taken ill in the warm-up.

It seemed that would just be the start of some sustained Belgium pressure, but while they continued to dominate possession, further clear-cut chances were few and far between. (BBC Sport)

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