Preview: Cote d’Ivoire vs Morocco

The giants of African football are set to collide in a not to be missed match which will give fans a taste of what to expect in the next-year’s AFCON tournament. The Moroccans have proven to be the stronger side out of the two, they have managed to come out victorious in three out of four of their past meetings and with the other tie ending in a 0-0 draw. The Ivorians are still in search of their first victory against Morocco and will come out strong to get it so that they can bring a smile to their home fans who are expected to come out in their numbers to support the home team.

Ivory Coast will be looking to build from their 1-0 win over Lesotho when they face Morocco in an international friendly match that forms part of their preparations for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations that they will be hosting.

The Elephants have lined up a high-profiled squad to partake in the two friendly matches against Morocco on 14 October and South Africa on 17 October. Some of the notable names include Wilfried Zaha of Galatasaray, Sebastien Haller, and Serge Aurier. The Ivorians are currently not in their best form, they have been struggling to win when facing strong opponents, in their five recent matches they defeated Lesotho 1-0. Before that they were demolished by Zambia 3-0, they headed to that match after back-to-back victories over Comoros, having won 3-1 and 2-0 respectively. They opened the year by 1-0 defeat at the hands of Algeria.

Africa’s highest ranked team were victorious over The Elephants in their last meeting with Youssef En-Nesyri scoring the goal that secured the victory for them. They are coming to this match highly motivated after defeating a challenging Burkina Faso by 1-0. They will be looking to continue with their winning ways at the expense of Jean-Louis Gasset’s men.

Morocco booked their AFCON place by finishing second, one point behind South Africa in Group K. They started their journey to Ivory Coast with back-to-back wins over South Africa and Liberia. The Moroccans are one of the countries tipped to win the upcoming AFCON due to the stellar performance that they have been displaying lately. They recently shocked the world by defeating a star-studded Brazil 2-1 in a friendly match with Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri scoring the goals while Casemiro scored the consolation goal for the Brazilians.

The Atlas Lions made history in the 2022 FIFA World Cup by becoming the first African country to reach the semi-finals where they were knocked out by France 2-0. On their way to the last four, they knocked out Christiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the quarterfinals and Spain in the last round of sixteen.

Walid Regragui will rely on the on-form Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat, Achraf Hakimi and Youssef En-Nesyri to lead his charge to victory against the 2015 AFCON winners. Morocco last lifted the AFCON in 1976 and with the squad that they currently have, it would be great for them to win the prestigious cup which will be a stamp of approval for them as kings of African football.

Written by Siph’esihle Soni