Morocco beat a tired Togo by three goals to one to go second in Group C after outwitting and outclassing the Togo team over an intriguing 90 minutes.
Togo started all guns blazing and took the lead as early as the fifth minute when they cored from a fantastic breakaway from deep inside their own half. Passing the ball from the 18 yard box out into their opponents half they broke down the left switched play to the right where Ayite passed in the perfect ball in an opening into the penalty area and there was Dossevi the right midfielder to smack it straight into the bottom left and past the helpless Munir the last shield in defence for the North African team.
Morocco were immediately straight back on the attack and drew the match level just six minutes later when Bouhaddouz headed into the Togo net this time past a helpless Agassa in the Togo goal. He left his marker Bebou like a thief in the night out jumped the keeper who was flailing in mid air and headed down and into the middle of the net. 1-1. In the celebrations Fajr had enough time to give team mate Benatia a rather sexy kiss on the neck. I don’t really know why and probably neither does he.
Laba the Togo striker had plenty of time to completely slice a shot in the 16th minute before Morocco on yet another early offence into the Togo defence made it 2-1. Obviously the kiss must have put a spring in the step of Benatia as the defender rose splendidly to flick on a free kick from Fajr past the keepers left and nudge nicely into the net again. What a start, 20 minutes in, 3 goals and a kiss on the neck, almost more action than we got in the first 6 games of the African Nations Cup Combined.
Adebayor had an opportunity to get back on terms for Togo almost immediately as he shielded the ball 12 yards out, swiveled well but his shot was weak. A minute later he was in on the action again as he split two defenders and managed to flick a shot in that Munir did well to save. It’s hard to believe that Adebayor is without a club at the moment and hasn’t played competitive football for months.
The game unsurprisingly slowed somewhat after this firecracker of a start although Dirar for Morocco almost got in on the act with a header from a corner kick in the 28th minute that just went sliding past the post.
Boussoufa had a crack with a great shot before the break as the defenders did well to close him and the ball down, the ball bobbled up and over the bar but good play all round.
The Moroccans came out in the same way they had played at the end of the first half. Much more in control of the game and making various forages into the Togo penalty area. Adebayor was back in his own penalty area and for one fifteen minute spell appeared as Togo’s best defender heading away continual set pieces from the Morocco midfield line. Agassa was having a game to forget in the Togo goal though, at fault for the Morocco second he was brutally unfortunate for their third in the 72nd minute. Saiss picked the ball up for Morocco halfway inside the Togo half and ran at the defender surprising all and sundry with a well struck shot that beat Agassa. It was poor keeping but to be fair the shot did hit a bobble and looped over him and he’ll be telling his Grand Children exactly the same story in years to come. For the jubilant Saiss it was his first international goal.
Togo had played valiantly but were tired, Ayite the Fulham player had an excellent chance to get Togo back into the match when he ploughed into the Morocco penalty area, Adebayor made a brilliant decoy run but Ayite rather than find his team mate wanted the glory instead and his shot rolled inches past the post.
The score line was about right in the end of what was a thoroughly entertaining game and Togo was shattered to a man.