SOCCER

Morocco Pulls Off Another World Cup Upset, Beats Belgium 2-0

Nov 27, 2022, 9:44 AM
Morocco-Belgium-World-Cup-Qatar...
Thibaut Courtois of Belgium dives in vain as Abdelhamid Sabiri (not pictured) of Morocco scores their team's first goal from a free kick during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco pulled off yet another World Cup shock, and it was Belgium’s aging “Golden Generation” that took the hit this time.

The 2-0 upset left Kevin de Bruyne and the 2018 semifinalists in peril of a group-stage exit at what is likely the final World Cup for numerous players on a team that hasn’t been able to win a major title.

Morocco substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri gave his team the lead by whipping in a free kick from a tight angle on the left in the 73rd minute that got under the body of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois — for many, the best in the world at his position.

Zakaria Aboukhlal then guided a shot into the roof of the net off a pass from Hakim Ziyech in stoppage time as Courtois was beaten again.

Belgium, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Brazil, had won its last seven group games at the World Cup before the upset. It was Morocco’s first win at a World Cup since 1998 and only its third ever.

Belgium would have become the second team after defending champion France to qualify for the knockout stage if it had beaten the Moroccans but now will play 2018 finalist Croatia in what will be a crucial final group game.

Another World Cup Shock

Morocco, which thrived off the deafening support provided by its fans at Al Thumama Stadium, also had a goal from a free kick by Ziyech disallowed in the first half for offside.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez put in forward Romelu Lukaku, the country’s record scorer, as a substitute with less than 10 minutes to go in a desperate attempt to get one back when it was 1-0.

Lukaku hadn’t played since October and is only just returning from a left thigh problem.

Belgium reached the semifinals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, driven by goals from Lukaku, De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, but lost to eventual champion France. The Belgians were also impressive early at last year’s European Championship, eliminating Portugal before losing to Italy in the quarterfinals. Italy went on to win that title.

Belgium labored to a 1-0 win over Canada in its opening game in Qatar, when the absence of Lukaku was glaring. Belgium again dearly missed the big striker, who scored four goals at the 2018 World Cup and another four at Euro 2020.

Morocco drew confidence from a 0-0 draw with Croatia in its first game and boosted its chances of reaching the knockout round for first time since 1986 — the only time it has ever advanced.

The shock result was the second of the day following Costa Rica‘s victory over Japan in the first day of the tournament.

Soccer

NWSL logo Utah Royals...
Chandler Holt

Report: NWSL To Expand By Three Teams With One In Utah

The National Women's Soccer League is discussing a three-team expansion. The three teams will be located in San Francisco, Boston, and Utah.
7 days ago
Jefferson-Savarino-Real-Salt-Lake...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Front Office Still With Plenty Of Work Remaining

What should Real Salt Lake fans expect in year two of the David Blitzer and Ryan Smith reign? And where does the club need more depth?!
8 days ago
Javier-Morales-fights-for-ball-against-Monterrey-player-in-2011-champions-league-final...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Draws Concacaf Giants In Leagues Cup

Real Salt Lake has been placed in a Leagues Cup group alongside Liga MX giants Monterrey FC and MLS foe Seattle Sounders.
14 days ago
Diego-Luna-Real-Salt-Lake-During-Game...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake’s Diego Luna Called Into U.S. Under 20 Side

Real Salt Lake's Diego Luna has been called into the United States Under-20 training camp, the club announced. 
15 days ago
America-First-Field-Real-Salt-Lake...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Signs Gomez, Breaks Club Record Transfer Fee

Real Salt Lake has acquired winger Carlos Andrés Gómez from Colombian powerhouse Millonarios FC, the club has confirmed. 
24 days ago
Pablo Mastroeni - Watches - against- san jose...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Signs Homegrown Pair To First Team Roster

Real Salt Lake has announced the Homegrown signings of defenders Luis Rivera and Delentz Pierre to the 2023 first-team roster. 
28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Morocco Pulls Off Another World Cup Upset, Beats Belgium 2-0