Morocco vs Brazil score, result, highlights, as Sabiri goal lifts World Cup semifinalists to shock win

By | March 25, 2023

Morocco continued to ride the wave of their historic 2022 World Cup semifinal run, beating Brazil 2-1 in Tangiers in an international friendly on March 25.

The winning goal came with about 10 minutes remaining, as substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri roofed a loose ball in the Brazil box and the Atlas Lions’ defense did the rest to see out a deserved result. 

The Moroccan team took the lead on a well-executed attack that was finished with a classy, spinning move in the box by Sofiane Boufal. But an uncharacteristic mistake by Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou on a shot by Casemiro saw Brazil equalize 1-1 in the second half.

Morocco were simply sharper, more aggressive, intense, and direct compared to their South American opponents. They were fueled by a capacity crowd that created a memorable environment for the first match played after the fourth-place finish in Qatar. 

Brazil were missing several injured players and they were clearly not at their best, but they did get a fair number of chances. However, their front three struggled to convert, and Bounou came up with timely saves as he did throughout their World Cup run. They also had a goal called back for a Vinicius Jr. offside infraction.

The result perhaps shouldn’t come as a complete surprise since the Atlas Lions went farther than Brazil at the World Cup. The Brazilian side were surprisingly knocked out at the quarterfinal stage on penalties, while Morocco became the first African team to reach the semis, where the Atlas Lions fell to France in a tight contest.

Brazil head coach Tite departed after the World Cup, and the Selecao had an interim in charge in Morocco with Under-20 national team coach Ramon Menezes at the helm. His Moroccan counterpart ultimately got the upper hand, as Walid Regragui, who was the architect of the historic World Cup run, saw his team continue to perfect their signature playing style, turning biting defense into piercing attacks.

This was the only match that Brazil is playing during this March international window. Meanwhile, the Atlas Lions will face another South American side in Peru on March 28 in Madrid.

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Morocco vs Brazil final score

  1H 2H Final
Morocco 1 1 2
Brazil 0 1 1

MOR — Sofiane Boufal (Bilal El Khannouss) — 29th min.
BRA — Casemiro (Lucas Paqueta) — 67th min.
MOR — Abdelhamid Sabiri (Walid Cheddira) — 79th min.


Morocco lineup (4-5-1): 1-Bounou (GK) — 2-Hakimi (25-Attiah Allah, 52′), 5-Aguerd, 6-Saiss (capt.), 3-N. Mazraoui — 7-Ziyech, 8-Ounahi (11-Sabiri, 64′), 4-Amrabat, 23-El Khannouss (13-Louza, 64′), 17-Boufal (16-EZ Abde, 77′) — 19-En-Nesyri (21-Cheddira, 77′)

Brazil lineup (4-3-3): 12-Weverton (GK) — 2-Emerson Royal (9-Alberto, 92′), 3-Militao, 14-Ibanez, 6-Telles — 8-Andrey Santos (20-Veiga, 64′), 5-Casemiro (capt.), 7-Paqueta — 22-Rony (21-Antony, 64′), 10-Rodrygo (19-Roque, 64′), 11-Vinicius Jr

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Morocco vs Brazil live updates, highlights from friendly

Final: Morocco 2-1 Brazil

85th min.: Fans are sensing the win is close and they are chanting “Ole” with every touch by the Morocco team.

79th min.: Goal Morocco! It’s the two subs combining. Sabiri gets it after a cross was touched by Cheddira. Morocco go back up 2-1.

77th min.: SUBS Morocco. It’s Cheddira and EZ Abde who come on for En Nesyri and Boufal. Fresh legs for the Morocco attack to see if they can nick one more goal and take home a memorable victory.

73rd min.: Hydration break and the teams take advantage to huddle up at the benches and talk about how they’re going to approach the final 15 minutes.

67th min.: Goal Brazil! Casemiro takes a shot from the top of the box and it’s a blunder by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who lets it slip underneath him.

64th min.: SUBS for Brazil and Morocco. Antony, Vitor Roque, and Raphael Veiga are on for Rony, Rodrygo, and Andrey Santos.

Morocco bring on Imran Louza and Abdelhamid Sabiri for El Khannouss and Ounahi.

57th & 59th min.: Chances Brazil! Two more opportunities. But Vinicius sends a low driven cross that runs through the six-yard box. And then on a corner kick, goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stops a Lucas Paqueta shot at the far post.

52nd min.: SUB Morocco. Achraf Hakimi gets the ovation with Yahia Attiat Allah coming in. He’ll play at left-back while Noussair Mazraoui moves from left-back to right-back.

48th min.: Chance Brazil! What a save by Morocco’s Yassine Bounou! He denies Rodrygo on a beautiful volley attempt with a sensational stop. Nothing comes of the corner kick for Brazil.

46th min.: Second half is underway. No changes from either team from what we can tell.

Halftime: Morocco 1-0 Brazil

Halftime: Morocco have the shock lead over a Brazil team that has two new starters in Andrey Santos (right center-mid) and Rony (right wing). The home team look like a team that is still riding the momentum from the World Cup and playing in a similar fashion. They are more intense, direct and generally sharper.

Morocco are comfortable in their play, waiting for Brazil, going hard to win the ball back, and then launching quick counters after they win the ball. These moments are causing problems for Brazil because of the skill and dribbling ability of the Morocco attackers.

Brazil still created chances, but poor finishing from their front three (Vinicius, Rony and Rodrygo), a great double save by Yassine Bounou, and an offside call kept them off the board. The Selecao will continue to be dangerous in the second half.

47th min.: YELLOW card to Sofyan Amrabat for an ugly scissors tackle on Vinicius. He was lucky to get away with only a yellow card.

46th min.: Chance Morocco! Another sensational transition attack, and Sofiane Boufal is wide open, but he whiffs on his first-time shot just outside the box. If he made good contact on that, it could’ve been a second.

42nd min.: YELLOW card to El Khannouss. It’s a good decision. The Genk man delivered a pretty wild foul on debutant Andrey Santos in midfield. Rodrygo takes the free kick but he just misses his teammates in the box.

41st min.: This has been an entertaining match. In a matter of a couple of minutes, first it was Azzedine Ounahi on one end, and then Vinicius on the other, who just miss the top corner. It’s an even match, but Morocco is looking sharper.

35th min.: Chance Brazil! A Casemiro diagonal ball into the box is headed down by Rony to Rodrygo, but his first-time shot is high of the target. His head is in his hands — he knows he could’ve done better there.

29th min.: Goal Morocco! It’s Sofiane Boufal who scores it. The Moroccans swarm Emerson Royal, take the ball and in two passes Boufal spins and shoots to beat Weverton. An excellent play from the home side, turning good defending to attack.

And it’s pandemonium in Tangiers:

26th min.: Brazil goal disallowed! It appears to be a good decision from the Tunisian referee. Vinicius Jr was offside on a long ball sent his way. Morocco goalkeeper Bounou came off his line to stop it and Vinicius put home the loose ball.

Salvio Spinola (below) disagrees, but Vinicius is definitely making an attempt to play the ball.

24th min.: Chance Brazil! Incredible double save by Yassine Bounou. The goal was at the mercy of the Brazilian forwards, but first Bounou blocked a shot and then he got on his feet and grabbed another shot.

23rd min.: Chance Morocco! Left-back Noussair Mazraoui pushes all the way up into the attack and collects a diagonal, puts the ball on his right and nearly finds the low far netting. The ball finished just wide.

20th min.: The match is going as you’d imagine. Brazil knocking it around, Morocco comfortable sitting back and waiting to win the ball back and go forward fast. When Morocco have countered, they have been quick, but not accurate.

13th min.: Chance Brazil! Fantastic pass from Paqueta to Rony, who was making a run into the Morocco box. The Palmeiras forward did well to control, but Rony’s shot went over the bar. He was challenged by a defender and didn’t get a clean shot off.

10th min.: Brazil turn the ball over and Morocco go vertical and fast. But Sofiane Boufal cuts it back to Hakim Ziyech, whose shot is blocked. Morocco showing a lot of the same characteristics that made them so difficult to play in Qatar.

6th min.: After a buzzing start from the Moroccans, the game has calmed some with Brazil getting a few more touches. In the attack, it’s Rony wide right and Rodrygo operating as the central striker.

1st min.: Morocco kick off. And there’s an early foul by Brazil left-back Alex Telles on Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi. Telles fumes at the referee, and the Brazilians already have issues with the Tunisian official.

1 min from kickoff: We’re just about ready. The formalities are out of the way. The referee is Sadok Selmi from Tunisia. There’s a moment of remembrance for Pele before the match kicks off.

5 mins from kickoff: Teams are back on the field. Time for anthems.

10 mins from kickoff: Warmups have wrapped up. The next time we’ll see the teams out on the field, it’ll be time for anthems.

30 mins from kickoff: The teams are warming up right now. The Moroccan team ovation was notably louder from the home crowd.

60 mins from kickoff: Lineups are out. And here’s confirmation of the Brazil lineup with Chelsea’s 18-year-old midfielder Andrey Santos (on loan with Vasco through June) getting the start in midfield, and Palmeiras forward Rony lining up with Real Madrid duo Vinicius and Rodrygo.

Meanwhile, Morocco are going with a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) that sees Genk’s creative midfielder Bilal El Kahnnouss get the start in the middle. Also, despite all the chatter of not being 100 percent, Achraf Hakimi starts at right-back for Morocco.

70 mins from kickoff: According to Reuters reporter Fernando Kallas, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has been suffering from stomach problems all week, and Weverton will start instead. Here’s the Brazil lineup as reported by ESPN’s Gustavo Hofman:

100 mins from kickoff: The Moroccan players are just arriving at the stadium and this is how the crowd welcomed them with 90 minutes still left until kickoff.

Here’s the view via drone of the Moroccan team bus arriving at the stadium.

110 mins from kickoff: The stadium is beginning to fill up and we’re still close to two hours out from the match.

And here’s the scene just outside the stadium.

120 mins from kickoff: Here’s the Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangiers, which will host the match between the World Cup semifinalists against the five-time world champions. It goes without saying that the 65,000 tickets were sold out well in advance.

Morocco vs Brazil lineups

Regragui named a 30-man roster for the two matches in the March 2023 window, including 20 World Cup stars like Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, and Youssef En-Nesyri. Hakimi will start although his participation was up in the air with reports that he trained separately from the group in the days leading up to the match.

But goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti is out after picking up an injury in training, and Chadi RiadYassine Kechta, and Ibrahim Salah are not listed on the official matchday team sheet.

Morocco lineup (4-5-1): 1-Yassine Bounou (GK) — 2-Achraf Hakimi, 5-Nayef Aguerd, 6-Romain Saiss (capt.), 3-Noussair Mazraoui — 7-Hakim Ziyech, 8-Azzedine Ounahi, 4-Sofyan Amrabat, 23-Bilal El Khannouss, 17-Sofiane Boufal — 19-Youssef En-Nesyri

Morocco subs (15): 12-Munir El Kajoui (GK), 22-Mehdi Benabid (GK), 15-Abdelkebir Abqar, 20-Achraf Dari, 18-Jaward El Yamiq, 25-Yahya Attiah Allah, 26-Ayoub Amraoui, 13-Imran Louza, 24-Benjamin Bouchouari, 11-Abdelhamid Sabiri, 21-Walid Cheddira, 16-EZ Abde, 14-Zakaria Aboukhlal, 10-Anas Zaroury, 9-Abderazzak Hamdallah

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The Brazil lineup features Weverton starting in place of Ederson after the Man City goalkeeper had stomach issues all week. Also, on-loan Chelsea midfielder Andrey Santos gets the start as does Palmeiras 27-year-old attacker Rony.

Brazil is without the injured Thiago SilvaNeymar, and Marquinhos, while Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino were not selected in addition to Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes

Brazil lineup (4-3-3): 12-Weverton (GK) — 2-Emerson Royal, 3-Eder Militao, 14-Roger Ibanez, 6-Alex Telles — 8-Andrey Santos, 5-Casemiro (capt.), 7-Lucas Paqueta — 22-Rony, 10-Rodrygo, 11-Vinicius Jr

Brazil subs (12): 1-Ederson (GK), 23-Mycael (GK), 13-Arthur, 15-Robert Renan, 4-Bremer, 16-Renan Lodi, 17-Andre, 18-Joao Gomes, 20-Raphael Veiga, 21-Antony, 9-Yuri Alberto, 19-Vitor Roque

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Watch Morocco vs Brazil live stream, TV channel

  Date Time TV channel Streaming
Australia Sun, Mar. 26 09:00 AEDT YouTube
Canada Sat, Mar. 25 18:00 EDT YouTube
Hong Kong Sun, Mar. 26 06:00 HKT YouTube
India Sun, Mar. 26 03:30 IST YouTube
Malaysia Sun, Mar. 26 06:00 MYT YouTube
New Zealand Sun, Mar. 26 11:00 NZDT YouTube
Singapore Sun, Mar. 26 06:00 SGT YouTube
UK Sat, Mar. 25 22:00 GMT bet365
USA Sat, Mar. 25 18:00 EDT YouTube

This friendly fixture has limited international broadcast outlets with Galvao Bueno’s ‘Canal GB’ YouTube channel covering the match.

Another Brazilian outlet Band Sports (Bandeirantes) is also broadcasting the match online with viewers required to register to create an account to access the match.

Viaplay are providing live access in eight European countries, including Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Those in the UK with a bet365 account can watch a live stream of the match through the bookmakers’ website or app.

Morocco’s Arryadia has the match for the local side.