What a surreal upset! Morocco’s U17 Atlas Lions obliterate Algeria, counting 3 goals, leaving us all agog and flabbergasted!
The Moroccan national under-17 football team triumphed over their Algerian counterparts in a stunning 3-0 victory during the quarter-finals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (CAF). This achievement enables Morocco to advance to the semis of the tournament, as well as the world cup qualifiers. The match was held in Constantine, Algeria on Wednesday. In only 28 minutes of the game, Morocco’s young striker, Zakaria Ouazane, scored the initial goal, giving the country an advantage. He then further solidified Morocco’s win in the 57th minute with a second goal, while teammate Adam Chakir scored a third in the 86th minute. Leading up to this game, Morocco had already finished at the top of Group B with two consecutive wins against Nigeria (1-0) and South Africa (2-0) as well as a loss to Zambia. Conversely, Algeria’s national U-17 football team made it to the quarter-finals after a 1-1 tie with Congo, but lost matches against Somalia (2-0) and Senegal (3-0).
The 2023 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament was not without its challenges, mainly due to Algeria’s consistent hostility towards Morocco. Algeria kept its airspace locked to Moroccans throughout the tournament, but Moroccan authorities were able to secure a direct travel pathway between Rabat and Algeria’s Constantine for its U-17 football team. FIFA is said to have exerted pressure on Algeria to put politics aside and permit the Moroccan team to fly directly to Constantine. This news came amid controversy over the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN), hosted by Algeria, which didn’t authorize the Moroccan football team to travel directly from Rabat to Constantine for their group games, requiring them instead to travel via Tunisia. The FRMF denounced this proposal, resulting in the team’s withdrawal from the competition. They would have been defending champions. In 2022, Morocco and Algeria previously faced each other in the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (CAF) final, a game in which Algeria emerged winners in a 4-2 penalty shootout.