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Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Morocco beat Namibia 1-0 after late own goal

Mbark Boussoufa celebrates Morocco's late winner against Namibia

Group D – featuring Morocco, Namibia, Ivory Coast and South Africa – is considered the tournament’s toughest group

Namibia forward Iitamunua Keimuine’s 89th-minute own goal gifted Morocco victory in their opening Africa Cup of Nations Group D match.

Keimuine misjudged Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick as the 2017 quarter-finalists won in Cairo.

Two-time winning coach Herve Renard’s side were limited to largely long-range attempts against a Namibia side making their first appearance since 2008.

Ivory Coast face South Africa in Group D’s other match on Monday (15:30 BST).

Despite a starting line-up featuring Ajax player of the season Ziyech, Morocco looked on course for a point against a side ranked 113 in the world – in what is considered the tournament’s toughest group.

Nabil Dirar forced Namibia goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua to tip a looping long-range shot over in an uneventful first half, while Nordin Amrabat went down under a challenge by Danzil Haoseb but saw his appeals for a penalty dismissed.

In search of a solution, French coach Renard – who previously triumphed with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015 – introduced Celta Vigo forward Sofiane Boufal who made a marked difference to the Morocco attack.

The former Southampton man almost made an instant impact, forcing Kazapua to save low to his right, before firing narrowly wide with 10 minutes remaining.

Ziyech, expected to leave Ajax this summer, offered darting runs and trickery but Namibia remained well-organised before suffering a cruel blow as Keimuine’s error handed Morocco all three points.

Next, Morocco face Renard’s former side Ivory Coast on Friday (18:00 BST), while Namibia come up against South Africa later that day (21:00 BST).

Live Text

Match ends, Morocco 1, Namibia 0.

Second Half ends, Morocco 1, Namibia 0.

Itamunua Keimuine (Namibia) is shown the yellow card.

Nordin Amrabat (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Itamunua Keimuine (Namibia).

Nabil Dirar (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Itamunua Keimuine (Namibia).

Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco).

Itamunua Keimuine (Namibia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Own Goal by Itamunua Keimuine, Namibia. Morocco 1, Namibia 0.

Sofiane Boufal (Morocco) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Itamunua Keimuine (Namibia).

Substitution, Namibia. Willy Stephanus replaces Deon Hotto.

Romain Saïss (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Peter Shalulile (Namibia).

Foul by Nordin Amrabat (Morocco).

Larry Horaeb (Namibia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Namibia. Lloyd Kazapua tries a through ball, but Peter Shalulile is caught offside.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Lloyd Kazapua (Namibia).

Substitution, Namibia. Itamunua Keimuine replaces Absalom Limbondi.

Attempt missed. Sofiane Boufal (Morocco) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Moubarak Boussoufa.

Substitution, Morocco. Khalid Boutaïb replaces Youssef En-Nesyri.

Attempt missed. Sofiane Boufal (Morocco) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Karim El Ahmadi with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Hakim Ziyech with a cross.

Attempt saved. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sofiane Boufal.

Foul by Nabil Dirar (Morocco).

Deon Hotto (Namibia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Romain Saïss (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Absalom Limbondi (Namibia).

Substitution, Morocco. Karim El Ahmadi replaces Youssef Aït Bennasser.

Attempt missed. Romain Saïss (Morocco) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Hakim Ziyech with a cross following a set piece situation.

Nordin Amrabat (Morocco) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Riaan Hanamub (Namibia).

Foul by Achraf Hakimi (Morocco).

Petrus Shitembi (Namibia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco).

Ryan Nyambe (Namibia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Namibia. Marcel Papama replaces Manfred Starke.

Nordin Amrabat (Morocco) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Morocco beat Namibia 1-0 after late own goal

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