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Morocco-Malawi Tops/Flops: Royal Hakimi, Masina in the West

Achraf Hakimi’s sublime free kick, Charles Thomu’s incredible performance or the limits of Malawi’s tactics: the tops and flops of Morocco-Malawi (2-1).


Achraf Hakimi saves Morocco again
We knew he was fast, technical and very good in front of goal, but not a free kick taker. Of them. This is the number behind the jersey of the great Achraf Hakimi, and the number of direct free kicks scored by the Moroccan phenomenon in this CAN. What looks like a flash of genius against Gabon (2-2), is in fact a real mastery of the exercise of the set piece on the part of the defender of Paris Saint-Germain. In addition to his incredible strike in the 70th (2-1), “Haki-mine” had a great match on his right side, and was (with Sofiane Boufal) the hub and the main danger of this Moroccan formation. , victorious over Malawi and qualified for the quarter-finals. Hats off to the artist.

Charles Thomu, the Malawian Neuer»
After a huge match against Senegal, Charles Thomu has just made another exceptional match against the Atlas Lions. Unknown before the start of this CAN, the 22-year-old goalkeeper has just made a name for himself in football and could well receive an offer from a European club in the coming weeks. Short in stature but extremely agile and, the Malawian porter disgusted the men with “Coach Vahidin the first period, before taking two unstoppable strikes.


The limits of the Malawi plan
They had accustomed us to many miracles in this CAN, but they were unable to create the feat against Morocco. Probably surprised to lead so early (opening the score in the 7th minute) against Morocco, Malawi ended up cracking after battling for long minutes. Unfortunately, with 20% possession and actions created (most of the time) on strikes from 35 meters, Mario Marinica’s men quickly ran out of ideas in this meeting. If this strategy had paid off in the group stage, it is obviously insufficient in the final phase. Despite a superb course and an endearing group, Malawi leaves the CAN – with their heads held high – in the round of 16.

Adam Masina, a performance that leaves a mark
When most players on a team shine, it creates shadows. Tonight, Masina was not there. We will not hold it against him since Morocco finally won, but his repeated mistakes could have cost his team dearly. Clumsy and overwhelmed on his left side, he himself showed signs of annoyance after his many missed passes. A worrying performance for the Moroccan, who will have to face the attack of Senegal or Egypt in the quarter-finals.


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