Amrabat in action as Morocco draw

Sunday 21 January 2024 16:36

Manchester United midfielder Sofyan Amrabat played the entirety of Morocco's 1-1 draw with DR Congo at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday afternoon.

Our no.4 was impressive as he anchored his nation's midfield, but they were forced to share the points after an entertaining contest in San-Pedro, despite taking a first-half lead.

It means that the Atlas Lions move onto four points at the top of Group F, remaining on the verge of securing qualification following their second outing of the tournament, having won their opener against Tanzania last Wednesday.

Just six minutes into the encounter, Morocco hit the front when Paris Saint-Germain's Achraf Hakimi found the net in a crowded 18-yard area, to open the scoring.

Amrabat's nation had the majority of the ball and the chances in the first half, but did not have it all their own way, and conceded a penalty to their opponents shortly before the break, after a VAR review had awarded a spot-kick for handball. Galatasaray forward Cedric Bakambu stepped up but could only drag his strike onto the post and wide.

Both sides had good opportunities to add to what therefore remained a one-goal scoreline in the second half, and it was DR Congo who dealt an impactful hit-back blow. Shortly after his introduction from the bench, Silas, who plays his club football for Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart, finished off a swift break forward to level matters at 1-1 late on.

In a game in which a minimum combined total of 18 minutes was added on at the end of the two halves, both sides looked as if they had given everything, in high temperatures, as the contest came to a close. 

Three points would have seen Amrabat and co advance to the last 16 of the competition, which they are one of the favourites for, although they remain in a strong position to progress ahead of their third and final group game, versus Zambia on Wednesday (20:00 GMT).

Before then, United's representation at AFCON 2023 continues, when Andre Onana's Cameroon play Gambia in an important Group C fixture on Tuesday (17:00 GMT). Onana's nation are yet to win at the tournament but remain in the hunt for qualification.