Peter Shalulile of Namibia challenged by Nordin Amaabat of Morocco during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Namibia at Training at Al-Salaam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 23 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Sunday Jun 23, 2019. 18:35
Morocco secured a 1-0 victory over Namibia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group D match at the Al Salam Stadium in Egypt on Sunday afternoon.
The Atlas Lions got off to a bright start as they applied some pressure on the Brave Warriors defence which was led by England-based defender Ryan Nyambe.
Namibia goalkeeper Llyod Kazapua was called into action 10 minutes into the match and he produced a fine finger-tipping save to keep out Nabil Dirar's long-range shot.
Morocco's star player Hakim Ziyech then unleashed two shots which missed the target as the 1976 Afcon champions pushed for the opening goal.
The Brave Warriors defence was looking solid and impenetrable which forced the Atlas Lions to shoot from distance.
Ajax Amsterdam playmaker Ziyech pulled the trigger from range in the 35th minute and Kazapua was well-positioned to make a save.
The score was 0-0 at the interval with Namibia having frustrated Morocco in the first-half.
The Brave Warriors continued to frustrate the Atlas Lions attackers, who were unable to seriously test Kazapua in the Namibia goal-posts.
Just before the hour-mark, Morocco head coach Herve Renard decided to introduce attacker Sofiane Boufal, who is on the books of English Premier League side Southampton.
The skillful winger tried to make an immediate impact when he unleashed a shot from the edge of the Namibia box, but Kazapua produced another great save.
Pressure mounted on the Namibia defence and the Moroccans were unfortunate not to score when Ziyech's deflected shot was brilliantly cleared away by Kazapua in the 71st minute.
Renard's charges never lost hope and their pressure paid off as Itamunua Keimuine scored an own-goal from Ziyechi's freekick in the 89th minute to seal Morocco's victory over Namibia.
Morocco (0) 1 (Keimuine 89')
Namibia (0) 0
Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Benatia, Saiss, Dirar, Ait Benasser (El Ahmadi ,69') Boussoufa, Bourabia (Boufal 58'), Ziyech, En-Nessyri (Boutaib 78'), Amrabat.
Namibia: Kazapua, Hoaseb, Nyambe, Hoareb, Hanamub, Katjijere, Starke (Papama 64'), Shitembi, Hotto (Stephanus 87'), Shalulile, Limbondi (Keimuine 80').