The 5-3 win for Morocco over Ghana was the kind of match you dream of taking part in. The match started in the sun and slowly turned to night and the lights shone brightly on the two national selections. The drama began before the lights kicked on, but the drama at dusk was a perfect example of back-and-forth action.
Ghana nailed the first goal home, only to watch Morocco claw their way to the lead. The determination of Ghana was obvious as they came back to tie things, but the Moroccans were able to score and take the lead again, late in the final period.
The win gives Morocco a chance at the semi-finals, if they can defeat Madagascar tomorrow evening. The loss was tough for Ghana and despite eliminating them from the semi-finals; they will have a chance to defeat Senegal on Thursday.
Both sides already knew what they had to do, win and give themselves a chance at the semi-finals. Morocco and Ghana had lost on day one but they needed to secure victories in their final two group stage matches if they wanted to make sure they finished in one of the top two positions in Group B.
The scoring began near the middle of period with Ghana scoring first, like they did in their opening match, but the Lions of the Atlas quickly stormed back and scored twice to take a 2-1 lead into the first break. The action reached new heights in the middle frame as the Black Stars tied the score at 2 on the restart.
With the match tied, Morocco pushed more and more, culminating in a great strike from Nassim that struck the frame of the goal and Ghana raced down the field to take the lead again, this time at 3-2. Not to be outdone, El Mahrouk of Morocco scored his teams’ second equalizer, putting the score at 3-3 going into the final minutes of the period. The teams played the rest of the period to a draw and the score was 3-3 going into the all-important final period.
Nothing separated the two sides as they scrambled to find the next goal and put themselves in the drivers seat for the semi-finals. Early in the frame, neither team could strike fear in the others’ hearts, but the goal and control finally came to the Lions of the Atlas, as the triumphantly took the 4-3 lead and began to play defensive, trying to save the win.
The Black Stars were not panicking but the consternation was evident, as they knew how important the next goal would be. The next goal would be the equalizer or the nail in the coffin, the Black Stars were vying for it to be the former. Morocco played it safe and despite rushes from Ghana, their defense held strong and when the referees signaled the end of the match, the score was 5-3 for Morocco.
Goals: 0-1: Kofi, min. 7 (1); 1-1: Nassim, min. 6 (1); 2-1: Benmamma, min. 2 (1); 2-2: Adjei, min. 11 (2); 2-3: Adjei, min. 8 (2); 3-3: El Mahrouk, min. 6 (2); 4-3: El Hadaoui, min. 8 (3); 5-3: Benmamma, min. 0 (3).
CAF African Beach Soccer Championships 2015
15:00 – Nigeria 4-1 Egypt (Group A)
16:15 – Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 Seychelles (Group A)
17:30 – Morocco 5-3 Ghana (Group B)
18:45 – Madagascar vs. Senegal (Group B)
15:00 – Seychelles vs. Egypt (Group A)
16:15 – Nigeria vs. Cote d’Ivoire (Group A)
17:30 – Senegal vs. Ghana (Group B)
18:45 – Morocco vs. Madagascar (Group B)