Morocco showcased their resilience and skill in their opening match of the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 against Guinea. The game started with Guinea demonstrating their attacking prowess early on, but Moroccan goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch expertly saved midfielder Seydoumba Cisse’s powerful shot in the 10th minute. Morocco’s skipper Abdessamad Ezzalzouli came close to breaking the deadlock but missed his attempt. It was Guinea who finally broke the deadlock through Algassime Bah just two minutes before the end of the first half.
However, Morocco equalized in the 67th minute as Ezzalzouli converted from the penalty spot, sending the Guinean goalkeeper the wrong way. With the momentum in their favor, Morocco persistently attacked while Guinea attempted to hold their ground defensively. Guinea conceded another penalty in the fifth minute of added time, with Ezzalzouli dispatching the penalty, securing a 2-1 lead for his team. Guinea’s Naby Youssouf Oulare thought he had salvaged a draw for his team, but the goal was disallowed after consultation with the VAR team.
The U-23 AFCON action continues on Sunday as Ghana takes on Congo Brazzaville in a Group A clash, while defending champions Egypt lock horns with Niger. In Group B matches, Mali will square off against Gabon. Stay tuned for more exciting matches and updates from the CAF U-23 AFCON 2023.