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Morocco shocks Brazil in an international friendly



Morocco shocks Brazil in an international friendly

Morocco defeated Brazil 2-1 in a friendly international on Saturday, recording the north African side’s first ever victory over the five-time world champions.

Sofiane Boufal, a former Southampton player who now plays for Al Rayyan in Qatar, gave Morocco the lead after 29 minutes with a powerful turn and drive off a pass from Bilal El Khannous.

Brazil captain Casemiro equalised in the 67th minute when goalkeeper Yassine Bounou fumbled his weak shot.

However, on-loan Sampdoria midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri scored the game-winning volley in the 79th minute, proving that Morocco’s status as the first Arab or African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals last year was no fluke.

I wouldn’t say we lacked understanding; it’s about putting a new coach’s ideas into practise,” Manchester United’s Casemiro said.

“I think we played a good game and went as far as we could to win.”

Only 10 of the 23-man squad that led Brazil to a disappointing World Cup quarter-final exit made the trip to Morocco for the game.

The injured Neymar was once again absent, with his number 10 shirt being passed to Real Madrid’s Rodrygo.

Brazil also had a new manager in the dugout, with interim coach Ramon Menezes replacing Tite, who stepped down following the World Cup’s last-eight loss to Croatia.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) hopes to announce the name of its new coach before the start of World Cup qualifying in September.

According to Brazilian media, Carlo Ancelotti, the current manager of Real Madrid, is the CBF’s first choice.

He is unlikely to make a decision on his future before the end of the European season.

Both teams paid tribute to Pele, who died last December at the age of 82, before the game began at the Ibn Batouta stadium.

Until Saturday, Morocco had lost their only two previous meetings with Brazil, 2-0 in a friendly in 1997 and 3-0 in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup in France.

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