M
SM
Thursday, April 25
Mar 26, 2019 at 7pm UK
Morocco
0-1
Argentina
 
FT(HT: 0-0)
Correa (84')

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Live Commentary: Morocco 0-1 Argentina

By , Senior Reporter | 1mo
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Argentina's 1-0 win in Morocco, as Angel Correa came off the bench to score the only goal of a scrappy affair.

Angel Correa struck seven minutes from time to earn Argentina a 1-0 win over Morocco at the Stade Ibn-Batouta in Tangier.

Both sides mustered a single shot on target each in the first half in a game that lacked quality throughout.

Substitute Correa converted late on to get the visitors back to winning ways, though, picking out the bottom corner of Yassine Bounou's net with his right-footed finish.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the international friendly between Morocco and Argentina at the Stade Ibn-Batouta in Tangier. The visitors are aiming to get back to winning ways in their final official friendly before this summer's Copa America, having suffered a surprise 3-1 loss to Venezuela last week. Morocco achieved their target of reaching the Africa Cup of Nations finals, meanwhile, doing so with a game to spare, and preparations are now in full swing for June's tournament.
MOROCCO TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Bounou; Mazraoui, Benatia, Da Costa, Hakimi; Boussoufa, El Ahmadi, Saiss; Belhanda, Boutaib, Boufal

SUBS: Idrissi, El Haddad, Baadi, Mohamedi, Bennasser, Abdelhamid, Amrabat, Alioui, Tagnaouti, Bourabia, Fajr, En-Nesyri

ARGENTINA TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Andrada; Montiel, Pezzella, Kannemann, Acuna; Pereyra, Paredes, Rodriguez, Rodrigo; Dybala, Martinez

SUBS: Marchesin, Musso, Mercado, Tagliafico, Benedetto, Correa, Marcone, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Zaracho, Suarez, Foyth

KICKOFF:  Argentina, without star man Lionel Messi - that did not go down entirely well with the Moroccan FA - get us underway in Tangier. Each pass from the visitors is being greeted by jeers from the home supporters.
The visitors have made a bright start to the match. Pereyra has half a chance at the back post but he is unable to trouble Bounou. Dybala, filling in for the absent Messi, nutmegs his opponent - that does not go down well with the home fans!
Paredes clatters into Boussoufa and the Morocco winger is in need of some treatment. Yet more jeers from the stands, as those in attendance felt Paredes should have been cautioned. The conditions are pretty horrible this evening - there is an almighty gust.
The wind is definitely having a say in this game. A long ball forward appeared to take an age before falling out of the sky. Morocco, to their credit, are looking to pass it out from the back, and they are starting to grow in confidence.
YELLOW CARD!  A friendly this is not. The match has had an edge to it right from the off, and Belhanda has been shown a yellow for catching Martinez. Morocco win the free kick and launch it forward, but Andrada is able to pluck it out of the air.
This is a great move from Argentina, culminating in Dybala getting a shot away from 10 yards. The contact is not clean and it deflects away from goal. Pereyra gets on the loose ball but the offside flag correctly goes up on the far side.
SAVE!  Saiss is given a telling off by the referee for going in hard on Martinez. Mazraoui profits from a slip and plays the ball into the feet of Boutaib, whose shot from the edge of the box is too central to beat Andrada.
There has not been a great deal between the sides in the opening quarter of an hour. The wind is proving to be problematic for both teams, so much so that Bounou is unable to take the free kick as the dead ball will not stay still!
Morocco have had 62% of the ball in the opening quarter of the game. There has not been a great deal of goalmouth action, with the only on-target attempt coming via the boot of Boutaib, who was denied by Andrada a little earlier.
CHANCE!  This has to go down as a good chance for Morocco as a free kick is lofted towards the back post, helped by the wind, and is waiting to be met by both Boutaib and Saiss. The former gets his head to it but is unable to find the target.
Argentina have struggled to get any sort of rhythm to their game so far. A long ball down the left-hand flank is chased down by De Paul but it has a little too much on it. Morocco are still hovering at around 60% in terms of possession.
Dybala snatches at his shot, sending it wide of Bounou's target. Up the other end El Ahmadi makes poor contact with his shot - or was it a pass? - when it is cut back to him from the byline. This game has a good, end-to-end feel to it.
Still just the one shot on target with nearly half an hour played. The biggest talking point so far has been the weather - the wind is hurricane-like! Some great link-up play sees Paredes slip it through for Pereyra, but he cannot quite bring it under control.

SAVE!  Rodriguez thumps the ball on target from just outside the box. Thankfully for Bounou the shot was central and he did not really have to do much to keep it out. Argentina are starting to build some momentum now.
Tensions boil over once again following a challenge in midfield. Referee Janny Sikazwe has his work cut out to keep the two sides under control.
YELLOW CARD!  Boutaib kicks out at De Paul and is rightly shown a yellow card. No idea why this match has such an edge to it. Coaches from both sides are getting involved now!
CLOSE!  Argentina win a free kick about 45 yards from goal. Paredes decides to take on the shot and it very nearly catches out Bounou as the ball takes a wicked deflection off Martinez on its way through. The wind also had a part to play - not for the first time today.
Both teams are once again struggling to keep the ball on the floor. Argentina are looking the more likely to find a breakthrough, but they have not really warranted a goal.
Boussoufa goes right through Dybala, with no real interest in winning the ball, but the referee lets play continue. Morocco have played some nice football at times, as we saw at the World Cup, though they certainly have a nasty streak about them.
This first half is petering out quite badly. Neither team has done enough to deserve a goal and it is looking as though the half is going to finish goalless. Saiss is the latest player guilty of a pretty poor challenge, which is penalised on this occasion.
Neither team is really looking like scoring at the moment. Much of the game is being played out in midfield. The game has at least calmed down - for a while it was looking as though we would see a red card or two before half time.
YELLOW CARD!  This may just be the worst challenge yet. Martinez jumps in on Boussoufa, catching his opponent with his trailing leg. I take back what I said a couple of minutes ago - we may just see a red card in the remaining few minutes of the first half!
YELLOW CARD!  I don't recall ever seeing a friendly as feisty as this. Benatia is cautioned for putting his hand to the face of Kannemann, following a poor challenge from a Moroccan player. Both sets of players square up.
Yet again the players square up to each other. The referee has lost all control of this match - he will be hoping for a quieter second period. There will be a further two minutes of first-half stoppage time.
Martinez turns and strikes the ball on the volley, but he is nowhere near the target. That should be that in terms of the first-half action.
HALF TIME:  MOROCCO 0-0 ARGENTINA
The feistiest first half of football you will see anywhere this season comes to an end. There has been no goals and very few shots, but the match has certainly not lacked challenges. Fingers crossed for a goal or two after the restart!
There were just a combined 12 shots in the first half, two of those on target, compared to 28 fouls - 14 for both sides. Medhi Benatia, Younes Belhanda, Khalid Boutaib and Lautaro Martinez all entered the referee's book, with the referee struggling to keep the game under control.
Neither side could find any real rhythm to their play in the first half, not helped by the windy conditions that regularly caught both teams out when knocking it long. Boutaib did manage to keep hold of the ball for long enough to get a shot away from the edge of the box, though, which Esteban Andrada was equal to.
The half's other on-target attempt came via Guido Rodriguez, who thumped the ball down the middle for Yassine Bounou to routinely keep out. Morocco did create another decent opportunity, however, but Boutaib and Romain Saiss got in each other's way when attacking a deep free-kick delivery, the former heading it over the bar.
BENCH WATCH!

MOROCCO SUBS: Idrissi, El Haddad, Baadi, Mohamedi, Bennasser, Abdelhamid, Amrabat, Alioui, Tagnaouti, Bourabia, Fajr, En-Nesyri

ARGENTINA SUBS: Marchesin, Musso, Mercado, Tagliafico, Benedetto, Correa, Marcone, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Zaracho, Suarez, Foyth

KICKOFF:  Morocco get the second half up and running at the Stade Ibn-Batouta in Tangier. It does not appear as though either manager has made a change at the interval, despite having six subs available to them.
Acuna makes good ground down the left and his cross is not bad at the end of it, but Pereyra cannot turn it back on goal from a tight angle. The early stages of the second half offer promise of a little more goalmouth action.
Argentina hit their opponents on the counter but Pereyra's cross is just out of Martinez's reach. The visitors have been the better side over the course of the 50 minutes.
As we edge closer to the hour mark, Scaloni and Renard may well be tempted to turn to their respective benches. The final ball has been lacking all evening and both teams could do with a bit of inspiration. No Messi for Argentina today, though, of course.
Disjointed is the best word to describe the start of this second half, and indeed the match as a whole. The wind has not died down, incidentally - that has not helped either side when it has come to keeping the ball under control.
PENALTY APPEAL!  Kannemann comes across Boussoufa and is shown a yellow card. The hosts want a penalty, arguing that the contact was just inside the box, and replays show that they have every right to feel aggrieved. That should be a spot kick!
ARGENTINA SUB! Martinez is replaced by Suarez in the first change of the evening. For those keeping count, Morocco have been shown four yellow cards and Argentina two. In comparison, there has been just two shots on target.
De Paul charges towards the Morocco defence but the ball gets trapped under his feet and he cannot get away a shot not pick out a teammate. Saiss also does well to cut out a cross, preventing an easy tap-in for an Argentina player.
Morocco are readying a couple of changes - maybe that will kickstart the second half. Argentina win a corner, which is flicked over the crossbar at the front post. Boutaib must have made the final touch as another corner is awarded.
SUBS! Abdelhamid and Bennasser are brought on for Benatia and El Ahmadi as Renard makes a double change. Argentina also make a substitution, with Correa - a fitness doubt for this match - replacing De Paul, who has had a mixed evening.
Correa's shot from distance rolls harmlessly wide. Based on what we have seen on this game alone, neither team will be lifting major silverware later this year. This has been a disappointing display from Argentina in particular.
ARGENTINA SUB! One debutant makes way for another in goal as Andrada is replaced by Musso. Argentina will likely pencil in another friendly or two in June, but even so this is one of Scaloni's final chances to give his squad players some minutes on the field.
There has been next to nothing of note to report back on in this second half. The majority of the game is still being played out in the middle of the park. Messi-less Argentina have had 42% of the ball.
Argentina defend a free kick and look to counter through Dybala, but he is quickly ushered off the ball. The wind appears to have died down about now, so that's something. There is 20 minutes for one of these sides to find a goal from somewhere.
This is superb play from Boufal - easily the best we have seen today, as he gets away from two men. Just before he can pull the trigger, though, Rodriguez cynically takes him down. The free kick from Boussoufa clips the wall and is caught by Musso.
MOROCCO SUBS! Fajr and Alioui are brought on for Boussoufa and Boutaib as Morocco make another double change. A reminder that both managers have six substitutes available to use, and they will likely use all of them.
ARGENTINA SUB! Zaracho is on for Paredes and Dybala is replaced by Lo Celso as changes continue. The constant stoppages in play are not helping either side find any sort of rhythm. This game is destined to finish goalless.
There is just nothing happening on the field - in truth, very little has happened all match. The atmosphere has gone very flat, which is entirely understandable. This result will ultimately be seen as a positive for Morocco.
There are just eight minutes of the second half to go and we are awaiting the first shot on target since the restart. The biggest talking point of the half came 10 minutes into the half when Kannemann fouled Boussoufa in the box, though only a free kick was awarded.
GOAL!  MOROCCO 0-1 ARGENTINA (ANGEL CORREA)
From out of nowhere, Correa slots the ball past Bounou for what will surely be the winning goal. Suarez plays the ball to Correa and the Atletico Madrid strikes a right-footed shot back across goal. Good finish from the substitute!

Argentina have not exactly deserved that goal, but it does at least set us up for a lively finale as Morocco will now have to chuck all they have at their opponents. Bourabia is on for Belhanda and Idrissi replaces Da Costa for the hosts.
The second half has been a lot calmer than the first half, but the referee has just had to tell both sets of players to calm down. Morocco win a free kick, but the visitors manage to clear their lines in an efficient manner.
ARGENTINA SUB! Marcone comes on for Pereyra in the visitors' final change of the contest. Argentina are doing well to keep their opponents quiet as we enter the first of four added-on minutes in Tangier.
Argentina concede a free kick but Morocco are unable to make the most of it. Abdelhamid gets on the end of the cross but it was never going to squeeze past Musso. That could well be the last meaningful act of the match.
FULL TIME:  MOROCCO 0-1 ARGENTINA
The referee brings the feisty friendly to a close. Argentina pick up a morale-boosting 1-0 win thanks to Correa's strike seven minutes from time, settling what was an extremely disjointed contest. Not sure either team will take much out of the game, in truth!
That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Stade Ibn-Batouta in Tangier. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and you can follow updates from Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier against Malta right here. Thanks for joining!


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