Harve Renard’s Morocco has joined Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt to the round of 16 at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations after their 1-0 win over Ivory Coast on Friday at the Al Salam Stadium.
Both sides came into the game eyeing maximum points to book a place into the next stage but the better side by miles Morocco took the day.
Wilfred Zaha and Wilfred Bonny had to wait for their turn on the bench once again in a game that the 2015 winners looked blunt in front of the Moroccan defense.
Morocco showed precision going forward, their comfort on the ball and movements on the pitch gave Ivory Coast a torrid time.
The Atlas Lions were eventually rewarded in the 23rd minute when a quick passing movement from their own saw Nordin Amrabat find Youssef En-Nesyri who made no mistake.
The 22-year-old fired a heavy shot with his left foot at the near post which left Ivory Coast custodian Sylvain Gbohouo with no chance of saving his side.
En-Nesyri almost doubled Morocco’s lead when he found himself unmarked only for Custodian Gbohouo to make a timely save.
This was the second straight Nations Cup, the two teams were meeting in the groups stages, two years ago in Gabon, The Atlas Lions also won 1-0.
It was Renard’s third successive win over his former bosses having also won 2-0 against them in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier played in Abidjan.