A ruthless late goal from ex-Southampton striker Sofiane Boufal saw Morocco triumph over Ghana in the first Group C clash of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN), at the end of a scrappy match in which both teams produced nice midfield passing but often faltered with unforced errors.
Both sides were keen to get off to a solid start after exiting the previous CAN at the last 16.
Morocco boast one of the most impressive historic records in African national football, after they became the first team from the continent to top a World Cup group stage at Mexico '86 – a record that still stands. They are keen to reimpose themselves at this year's CAN after disappointing at the previous tournament.
Ghana still hope to pull off a renaissance. They have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times and come second five times – most recently in 2015. But, like Morocco, Ghana went home from CAN-19 at the last 16, losing on penalties to Tunisia.
But Morocco and Ghana both tended to over-hit the ball in their opening match, frequently making some good midfield moves before hitting the ball out of play.
The game looked set to end as a goalless draw. But Ghana's sloppy defending allowed a great moment in the 83rd minute, when the ball fell to Boufal near the 6 yard box and he smashed the ball into the back of the net.