Saturday, October 21

Morocco close to Olympic semis after win over Algeria

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Morocco’s U23 team are nearly through to the semi-finals of the Olympic qualifying tournament, which they are hosting

Morocco are nearly through to the semi-finals of the African Olympic qualifying tournament after a 1-0 win over Algeria on Tuesday.

Adnane Tighadouini, who came on as a substitute early in the second half, got the only goal of the game when he fired home from the edge of the area in the 57th minute.

The win takes them to a perfect six points from two matches and puts them on the verge of a place at the London Games in 2012.

Group A

  • Morocco 6 points
  • Algeria 3 points
  • Nigeria 0 points (after one game)
  • Senegal 0 points (after one game)

The top three teams in this tournament are automatically through to the Olympics while the side which loses the 3rd/4th place game will go to a play-off with an Asian team.

Morocco are not absolutely certain of a place in the next round until the result of the later game between Senegal and Nigeria is known.

The regional derby was played with plenty of spirit and the referee had to issue a number of yellow cards early in the match to calm things down.

Morocco, the home team, generally dominated with Yacine Qasmi creating a number of chances in the first half.

But it was the introduction of Tighadouini in the second half which proved decisive.

He made a number of enticing runs down the left which came to nothing before deciding to run at the defence and reaping his reward.

In the day’s later game, Nigeria play Senegal, also in Group A, with neither team having registered a point so far.

Nigeria are the reigning Olympic silver medalists and failure to qualify for the London Games would be a big blow to them.

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