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Belhanda gives Morocco deserved World Cup warm-up win over Slovakia

05 June 2018 - 09:44 By Reuters
Morocco's French head coach Herve Renard reacts during the friendly football match between Morocco and Ukraine at the Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva on May 31, 2018.
Morocco's French head coach Herve Renard reacts during the friendly football match between Morocco and Ukraine at the Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva on May 31, 2018.
Image: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Morocco's Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda scored in a 10-minute second-half spell to give the World Cup-bound side a convincing 2-1 win over Slovakia in a warm-up friendly on Monday.

The North Africans, who play Spain, Portugal and Iran in their first appearance at the finals since 1998, dominated the first half and nearly went ahead when Hakim Ziyech hit the post from long range.

Slovakia, who missed out on the tournament in Russia, went ahead in the 59th minute when Jans Gregus rifled home a low shot from 25 metres.

But substitute Kaabi headed Morocco level five minutes later and Belhanda turned the game around when he chested the ball down and fired home with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Morocco booked their return to the FIFA World Cup after a 20-year absence, topping Africa Group C, to head to their fifth edition of the tournament.


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