Morocco narrowly defeated Ghana in their Africa Cup of Nations opening thanks to Sofiane Boufal’s 82nd-minute goal. The former Southampton winger seized on a loose ball and smashed a shot into the far corner.
In an otherwise unremarkable game in Yaounde, four-time champions Ghana frustrated their opponents with a rare moment of excellence. Morocco was unfazed in the latter moments, coasting to victory.
Morocco find a way in tense encounter
The North African side came into the game having won all six of their World Cup qualifiers last year, but the 1976 winners were made to work for their three points. Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss had gone close for the Atlas Lions, heading narrowly off target in a tight first half.
For all of Morocco’s possession Vahid Halilhodzic’s side were nearly behind in the 73rd minute as Joseph Paintsil’s curler was superbly stopped by keeper Yassine Bounou. Black Stars skipper Andre Ayew also went close with a looping volley only for Angers’ Boufal to net the winner at the other end minutes later.