One of the pre-tournament favourites Morocco laboured to a 1-1 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), missing out on the chance to win Group F in the process.
The North Africans were hoping to make it two wins out of two group games after winning heir first game 3-0 against Tanzania.
If the Leopards weren’t aware of the threat that Morocco possess, they were handed a swift reminder as inside two minutes, Achraf Hakimi’s cross was powerfully met by the head of Youssef En-Nesyri, forcing Lionel Mpasi-Nzau into an early save.
A four-minute delay while the officials resolved a communications problem looked to have handed DR Congo the chance to regroup, but from the resulting Hakim Ziyech corner, Hakimi was left unmarked and powered home a cultured volley to break the deadlock.
Morocco had other chances to double the lead but could not capiralise on them.
The Atlas Lions were almost made to pay for their wastefulness, as a moment of madness from Selim Amallah saw the Moroccans concede a penalty for handball. There were nearly 10 minutes between the incident and the taking of the spot-kick as an injury was treated, and perhaps that showed as Cédric Bakambu missed from 12 yards, striking the post on its way out.
Walid Regragui’s men looked off the pace after the restart and were lucky not to be pegged back when Dylan Batubinsika fired wide from close range.
Their lacklustre showing would eventually cost them the lead as the game progressed to the final quarter-hour, as Meschack Elia’s low cross was turned home by Silas.
DR Congo’s goalscorer was named the TotalEnergies Man of the Match.
Regragui’s side top Group F with four points while DR Congo have two points ahead of Zambia’s clash with Tanzania.
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