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Morocco have reached the last 16 on their Women’s World Cup debut after beating Colombia – although the South Americans progress as Group H winners.

Germany’s failure to beat South Korea means Morocco are into the knockout rounds as runners-up.

Anissa Lahmari scored the only goal via a rebound after captain Ghizlane Chebbak’s penalty was saved.

Morocco – who lost 6-0 to the Germans in their opener before successive wins – will face France in Adelaide next.

Colombia, who earned two wins in their first two matches and finish above Morocco on goal difference, will play Jamaica in Melbourne earlier on 8 August.

Debutants Morocco make history

Morocco
Morocco are the only 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup debutants to win two matches at the tournament

Of the eight debutants at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, seven had already exited the tournament before this match. Only Philippines, by beating co-hosts New Zealand, and Portugal in giving the USA a mighty scare, had come close to reaching the knockout stage.

Step forward Morocco. Reynaud Pedros’ side have recovered from their World Cup debut hammering to put in two impressive performances against South Korea and Colombia, and earn historic passage to the last 16.

They started brightly here – Ibtissam Jraidi’s third-minute shot was turned behind by Catalina Perez at near post, before Chebbak almost caught the keeper out from a well-worked corner – and continued to look the more threatening side until they took the lead.

Jraidi was bundled over clumsily in the area by Daniela Arias, and though Chebbak’s spot-kick was saved by Perez, the rebound was turned in by Lahmari.

As Germany tried and failed to find a winner against South Korea, Morocco stood sturdy to earn a remarkable and unexpected path into the knockouts.

At Qatar 2022, the Morocco men’s team became the first African side to reach a Fifa World Cup semi-final. The country is now seeing a second historic football achievement in the space of a year.

Colombia muted but still top group

Had Germany won, Colombia would have still needed a point to guarantee top spot in Group H.

As such, manager Nelson Abadia named a strong starting XI – the same one as against South Korea in the 2-0 win to open their tournament – featuring four players one yellow card away from missing their next match.

The inherent risk was exposed when full-back Manuela Vanegas – who scored the 97th-minute winner against Germany – was booked early in the second half. She will miss the meeting with Jamaica.

Also concerning for Abadia was his side’s muted attacking performance, with star winger Linda Caicedo anonymous following her heroics in the opening two matches, while they also lacked the bite in midfield seen in Sydney.

Colombia did improve in the second half, roared on by a loud and colourful crowd as they have been all tournament. Daniela Montoya’s low drive was saved by the boot of Khadija Er-Rmichi before Lorena Bedoya lashed narrowly wide, while Mayra Ramirez hit the post from a tight angle.

However, they must rediscover the verve shown against the Germans to stay on target for a possible meeting with England in the quarter-finals.

Player of the match

LahmariAnissa Lahmari

with an average of 8.66

Morocco

  1. Squad number16Player nameLahmari

    Average rating

    8.66

  2. Squad number3Player nameBenzina

    Average rating

    8.60

  3. Squad number6Player nameNakkach

    Average rating

    8.59

  4. Squad number19Player nameOuzraoui Diki

    Average rating

    8.57

  5. Squad number5Player nameEl Chad

    Average rating

    8.52

  6. Squad number2Player nameRedouani

    Average rating

    8.45

  7. Squad number8Player nameAmani

    Average rating

    8.45

  8. Squad number1Player nameEr-Rmichi

    Average rating

    8.39

  9. Squad number17Player nameAït El Haj

    Average rating

    8.38

  10. Squad number9Player nameJraïdi

    Average rating

    8.34

  11. Squad number11Player nameTagnaout

    Average rating

    8.29

  12. Squad number23Player nameAyane

    Average rating

    8.13

  13. Squad number7Player nameChebbak

    Average rating

    7.94

Colombia

  1. Squad number1Player namePérez

    Average rating

    8.21

  2. Squad number19Player nameCarabalí

    Average rating

    7.96

  3. Squad number8Player nameRestrepo

    Average rating

    7.43

  4. Squad number9Player nameRamírez

    Average rating

    7.29

  5. Squad number18Player nameCaicedo

    Average rating

    7.29

  6. Squad number11Player nameUsme

    Average rating

    7.18

  7. Squad number17Player nameArias

    Average rating

    7.09

  8. Squad number4Player nameOspina

    Average rating

    6.91

  9. Squad number21Player nameChacón

    Average rating

    6.60

  10. Squad number6Player nameMontoya

    Average rating

    6.52

  11. Squad number10Player nameSantos

    Average rating

    6.29

  12. Squad number5Player nameBedoya

    Average rating

    6.00

  13. Squad number3Player nameÁrias

    Average rating

    5.77

  14. Squad number2Player nameVanegas

    Average rating

    5.77

Line-ups

Morocco

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Er-Rmichi
  • 17Aït El Haj
  • 5El Chad
  • 3Benzina
  • 2Redouani
  • 19Ouzraoui Diki
  • 6Nakkach
  • 7ChebbakBooked at 90mins
  • 11Tagnaout
  • 9JraïdiSubstituted forAyaneat 86′minutes
  • 16LahmariSubstituted forAmaniat 71′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Kassi
  • 8Amani
  • 10Badri
  • 12Zouhair
  • 13Seghir
  • 14Mazrouai
  • 15Gharbi
  • 18Chapelle
  • 20Bouftini
  • 21M’Rabet
  • 22Arouaissa
  • 23Ayane

Colombia

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Pérez
  • 17AriasSubstituted forRestrepoat 90+1′minutes
  • 19Carabalí
  • 3Árias
  • 2VanegasBooked at 51mins
  • 5BedoyaSubstituted forChacónat 86′minutes
  • 6MontoyaSubstituted forOspinaat 60′minutes
  • 18Caicedo
  • 11Usme
  • 10Santos
  • 9Ramírez

Substitutes

  • 4Ospina
  • 7Reyes
  • 8Restrepo
  • 12Sepúlveda
  • 13Giraldo
  • 14Barón
  • 15Guzmán
  • 16Andrade
  • 20Ramos
  • 21Chacón
  • 22Caracas
  • 23Bahr

Referee:
Maria Ferrieri Caputi

Attendance:
17,342

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Morocco 1, Colombia 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Morocco 1, Colombia 0.

  3. Foul by Mayra Ramírez (Colombia).

  4. Sakina Ouzraoui Diki (Morocco) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Ghizlane Chebbak (Morocco) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Foul by Jorelyn Carabalí (Colombia).

  7. Rosella Ayane (Morocco) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  9. Delay in match because of an injury Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco).

  10. Foul by Ivonne Chacón (Colombia).

  11. Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Foul by Leicy Santos (Colombia).

  13. Sakina Ouzraoui Diki (Morocco) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution, Colombia. Marcela Restrepo replaces Carolina Arias.

  15. Offside, Morocco. Fatima Tagnaout tries a through ball, but Rosella Ayane is caught offside.

  16. Mayra Ramírez (Colombia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Élodie Nakkach (Morocco).

  18. Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Substitution, Colombia. Ivonne Chacón replaces Lorena Bedoya.

  20. Substitution, Morocco. Rosella Ayane replaces Ibtissam Jraïdi.