Morocco in shock win against Brazil

In an international friendly match held in Tangiers, Morocco secured a 2-1 victory against Brazil, building on their historic 2022 World Cup semifinal run. The winning goal was scored by substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri with about ten minutes remaining, as he roofed a loose ball in the Brazilian box, and the Atlas Lions’ defense held on to secure a well-deserved result.

Morocco took the lead in the first half through a well-executed attack finished with a classy, spinning move in the box by Sofiane Boufal. However, an uncharacteristic mistake by Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou on a shot by Casemiro saw Brazil equalize 1-1 in the second half.

Morocco outplayed Brazil with their sharper, more aggressive, intense, and direct style, fueled by a capacity crowd in their first match after finishing fourth in Qatar. Despite Brazil missing several injured players, they created a fair number of chances, but their front three struggled to convert, and Bounou made timely saves just as he did during their World Cup campaign. Brazil had a goal disallowed for an offside infraction by Vinicius Jr.

While Brazil’s poor performance could be attributed to the absence of some key players and a change in head coach, Morocco’s victory was not a complete surprise since they went farther than Brazil at the World Cup. Brazil was eliminated in the quarterfinal stage on penalties, while Morocco became the first African team to reach the semis, where they fell to France in a tight contest.

Ramon Menezes, the Under-20 national team coach, was the interim coach for Brazil in this match, as Tite had departed after the World Cup. However, his Moroccan counterpart, Walid Regragui, was the architect of the historic World Cup run, and his team continued to perfect their signature playing style, turning biting defense into piercing attacks.

This was Brazil’s only match scheduled during the March international window, while the Atlas Lions will face another South American side, Peru, on March 28 in Madrid.