Morocco beat Canada to top World Cup Group F


Morocco fans take to the streets after qualifying for the last 16

Tom Hamilton reports from downtown Doha as Morocco fans take to the streets to celebrate their country's victory over Canada at the World Cup.

Morocco topped World Cup Group F and clinched a spot in the round-of-16 for the first time since 1986 by defeating already-eliminated Canada 2-1 on Thursday.

Morocco, who needed a win or a draw in their final Group F match to reach the knockout rounds, opened the scoring on four minutes as Hakim Ziyech profited from a weak clearance by goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

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Cheered on by a boisterous crowd of Moroccan fans, midfielder Ziyech effortlessly lobbed the ball over the stranded goalkeeper.

Borjan had been placed in an unenviable position by central defender Steven Vitoria, whose weak back pass forced the goalkeeper to race Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri to the ball.

En-Nesyri remained dangerous throughout the first half, doubling Morocco's lead in the 23rd minute when he ran onto a long ball from Achraf Hakimi and beat Borjan at the near post.

En-Nesyri also thumped a volley into the Canadian net during stoppage time in the first half but that goal was ruled offside.

With Croatia drawing with Belgium in the other Group F game, Morocco finish first in the group and will face the second-place finishers in Group E.

Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd put Canada on the scoreboard with an own goal, the first of this World Cup, by accidentally flicking a cross by Sam Adekugbe past his own goalkeeper Yassine Bounou in the 40th minute.

Canada, who are exiting their first World Cup since 1986 without a win, automatically qualify for the 2026 tournament as co-hosts along with the United States and Mexico.