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Abalora gifts Atlas Lions scrappy goal over Black Stars

Morocco’ Atlas Lions earned their first win over the Black Stars of Ghana in over 20 years following a 1-0 result in an international friendly on Tuesday.

Defender, Jawad El-Yamiq scored the game’s only goal in the 68th minute to set the homesters to jubilate.

The Moroccans hosted the Black Stars at the FAR Sportive stadium, in Rabat for the fixture to help their long term preparatory programme for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon as well as prepare for the World Cup qualifying campaign which starts in September.

Under Coach Vahid Halihodzic, Morocco had an unbeaten streak before the game and they were eager to keep that run going, ahead of the match.

The Atlas Lions started the game with top stars like Romain Sais, Achraf Hakimi, Adel Taarabt, Yassine Bono and Youssef El Nessyri and Munir El Haddadi.

Ghana coach Charles Akonnor on the other hand named a team without captain Andre Ayew – and Mohammed Kudus who played in his place lived up to the billing with an awesome performance.

Jordan Ayew led the lines for the Black Stars but failed to really sparkle in the game with Samuel Owusu and Joel Fameyeh playing through the lines.

Emmanuel Lomotey and Baba Iddrisu operated in the defensive midfield position for the Black Stars who set up in a typical 4-4-2 formation.

At the back, Ghana had Nicholas Opoku and Daniel Mensah at the heart of defense while Andy Yiadom and Gideon Mensah played right fullback and left fullback respectively.

There were not many chances in the first half as it ended goalless.

Back from the break, both sides made certain changes to personnel to freshen up the lineup.

Morocco took the lead following a goalkeeping mistake by Ghana’s Razak Abalora. The Asante Kotoko shot stopper failed to properly deal with a free kick from second half substitute Hakim Ziyech, allowing Real Valladolid center back, El Yamiq to take advantage.

Ghana’s skipper Andre Ayew came on in the second half but failed to find the equalizer.

This is the 3rd defeat for Coach Charles Akonnor in his 7 games in charge so far.

The Black Stars will play neighbours Ivory Coast on Saturday June 12 at the Cape Coast Stadium.

From Sammy Heywood Okine

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