Missed goalscoring opportunities and a few perplexing decisions from some coaches have aided to the Africa’s poor start to the 2018 World Cup, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Africa’s most successful nation did well to thwart out the danger of attacking duo Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, with the latter having the odd off-game.
The two teams appeared evenly-matched across the pitch for large parts of the game, barring in the final third – where the Egyptians were evidently missing that explosivness of Salah.
Now, while nobody knew if Salah was indeed fully fit to play or not, one cannot deny that his presence was much-needed in a game which could have easily been won by the North African country.
The Liverpool star has since been declared fit and he is set to feature against host-nation Russia on Tuesday, June 19th.
Talk about having a nightmare week!
Morocco lost the right to host the 2026 World Cup to the ‘United’ bid from Canada, the United States and Mexico in addition to losing their 2018 World Cup opener to Iran.
Sidenote, Team Melli as Iran are known are ironically coached by none other than former Banana Banana, Portugal and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz.
Herve Rernard’s side dominated proceedings from the offset, but failed to take advantage of their countless chances, resulting in a heartbreaking ending – a 1-0 victory for Iran courtesy of a stoppage time own-goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz.
Hopefully Rernard and his troops will have learnt from their match day one exploits as things do not get any easier for Morocco, who have been grouped alongside power nations in Portugal and Spain.
Morocco’s next assignment sees them face Cristiano Ronaldo’s side on June, 20th at 14:00
If there was an award for most dissapointing performance from match day one, Nigeria would undoubtedly be contenders.
Following their highly-publicised return to the World Cup, which culminated in their Nike kit being sold out prior to the tournament, the Super Eagles failed to flatter where it mattered most.
An-own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Real Madrid maestro Luka Modric sealed Nigeria’s fate in a 2-0 loss, but questions can be raised about coach Gernat Rorh’s team selection.
— Anuoluwapo Oluwaseyi (@SisiLizzzy) June 17, 2018
His decision to start Jon Obi Mikel as a playmaker, while deploying Alex Iwobi on the wing is laughable to say the least.
The less said about benching Ahmed Musa and former Manchester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, the better.
Photo: Getty Images