Walid Regragui became the first Morocco manager since 1998 to lead the Atlas Lions to a victory at the World Cup, toppling 2018 semi-finalists Belgium in an entertaining Group F encounter.
Hakim Ziyech’s left-footed cross-cum-shot found its way across the line, but Romain Saïss – who was in an offside position when the ball was played – had been adjudged to interfere with play.
Aggrieved by the marginal offside call before the break, Morocco used the perceived injustice to take the game to Belgium and the African side were rewarded with 17 minutes to play.
No offside this time, much to the delight of the hoards of Morocco supporters inside the Al Thumama Stadium.
It’s 26 years since Belgium last lost a World Cup group stage game, losing 1-0 to a Saeed Al-Owairan-inspired Saudi Arabia at the 1994 tournament.
A Middle Eastern nation themselves, it’s fitting their Arab counterparts in Morocco were the ones to end Belgium’s run of 13 unbeaten group stage matches, with Zakaria Aboukhlal’s 93rd-minute goal securing a famous three points for Morocco.
As for Morocco, the victory puts them in control of their own fate, with the Atlas Lions now on the brink of just their second knockout appearance in World Cup history.