Quickfire Morocco down Liberia as Sierra Leone stage comeback against Guinea Bissau

Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco celebrates scoring a goal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Liberia and Morocco held at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on 13 June 2

Morocco scored two second half goals in two minutes as they beat a resistant Liberia 2-0 at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca as Sierra Leone rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Guinea Bissau in 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches on Monday night.

Liberia 0-2 Morocco

Faycal Fajr and Youssef En Nesyri scored quickfire second half goals as Morocco’s Atlas Lions made it two victories in two matches to stomp top of Group K.

Liberia, who are playing their home matches in Morocco due to unavailability of an approved venue back home had done well to hold off Morocco’s threat in the opening half, where chances were few and far in between.

Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco celebrates scoring a goal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Liberia and Morocco held at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on 13 June

The Moroccan forward line of En Nesyri and veteran Ayoub El Kaabi was kept quiet for the entire opening 45 minutes.

In the second half, though, the visitors in their own home turf were off to a flier and they moved ahead after 56 minutes when Fajr converted from the penalty spot after Amine Harit’s quick feet inside the box led to a penalty after he was hacked down.

Just two minutes on the turn, En Nesyri made it two goals in two qualification matches with the second goal, a neat finish between the keeper’s legs after being played through by a brilliant Azzedine Ounahi ball into the area.

The score-line was comfortable for the Atlas Lions and the defense marshalled by Achraf Hakimi didn’t have much to worry about as Liberia provided little danger moving forward.

Sierra Leone team picture during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone held at the Abuja National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria on 9 June 2022

Sierra Leone 2-2 Guinea Bissau

Elsewhere in Conakry, Guinea where Sierra Leone are staging their home matches, they had to endure a difficult start before Augustus Kargbo and Musa Noah Kamara scored in the final 12 minutes of the match to scrape a point for the Leone Stars.

The point puts Sierra Leone on one point after two matches, a worthy response after their opening day 2-1 loss to Nigeria. Guinea Bissau have four points and are second following their opening day 5-1 win over Sao Tome.

The Djurtus would have made it back to back victories after taking a healthy lead in the second half. After a goalless first half, the visitors broke the deadlock three minutes after the restart through their star player Jorginho.

He doubled the tally in the 63rd minute to complete his brace, but they could not hold on as Sierra Leone scored in the 78th and 88th minutes to grab a point.