The first group C game of the 2021 AFCON between Ghana and Morocco went off to an explosive start at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium with Morocco pushing forward from the blast of the whistle.
The Atlas Lions looked the best side in the first minutes, winning two free kicks in succession with one ending in a first yellow card to Ghana defender, Alexander Djiku on the 13th minute.
Series of fouls were committed by both sides with Morocco’s Adam Masina booked for a horrendous tackle on Genk forward, Joseph Paintsil on the 23rd minutes. Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Partey came a bit close to scoring for Ghana but his free kick after Jordan Ayew was brought down, went over the bar for Morocco’s goal kick on the 34th minute. Morocco will quickly create something out of nothing with Selim Amallah making a beautiful turn but striking wide off Ghana’s right post.
Thomas Partey gifted Morocco a free just on the edge of the goal area after bringing down Soufian Boufal on the 39th.
Romain Sais had his head slightly on Boufal’s free kick but was not enough to open the scoring as it went for Ghana’s goal kick. Ghana came close to scoring when Genk forward, Joseph Paintsil wove his way close to the Morocco’s goal area but later skied his shot on the 43rd minutes. Referee Joshua Bondo signaled for the end of the first half with not too many goal scoring chances created by both sides.
The Black Stars came under a little pressure in the second half following series fouls committed at the rear but the Moroccans will make use of none those half opportunities.
The Atlas Lions kept the pressure with Soufian Boufal’s back heel blocked into corner by Andy Yiadom on the 50th minute. The Black Stars broke very quickly with Joseph Paintsil, however there was no upfront which ended being colt dealt with by Morocco on the 53rd minute. A quick break on the 58th minute saw Zakaria Aboukhlal’s left footed strike go wide.
Andre Ayew attracted a yellow card after cynically bringing down Soufian Boufal on the 62nd minute. Ghana had the closest chance to score but Joseph Paintsil’s perfect strike was parried away into corner by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou which was eventually cleared by the Moroccans on the 71st minute.
Morocco found the back of the net on the 82nd minute when Soufian Boufal scored from a close range. Referee Joshua Bondo whistled for the end of the game with Morocco earning their first three points of Group C.