LIVE Belgium vs Morocco, FIFA World Cup: Ziyech goal ruled out for offside; BEL 0-0 MAR when the second half begins

LIVE Belgium vs Morocco, FIFA World Cup: Ziyech goal ruled out for offside;  BEL 0-0 MAR when the second half begins

Stay tuned for all the LIVE updates from the FIFA World Cup between Belgium and Morocco.

48′

Morocco win another free-kick inside Belgian territory, but Ziyech can’t find the right spot.

SECOND SEMESTER BEGINS

Morocco begin the second half with a spell.

45′

There has been no rhythm for either side. Morocco’s rigid structure has neutralized the Belgian attack. Morocco get a free kick down the right and it is Ziyech who whips it in. Everyone avoids it and Courtois doesn’t see the ball as it whizzes past him into the goal. Morocco players celebrate. But the referee, on the advice of VAR, takes a look at it and rules the goal offside. AND IT’S HALF TIME AND THE SCORE IS 0-0.

43′

Belgium have lacked that creative spark despite the presence of Hazard and de Bruyne. KdB now drop deeper to start play for Belgium.

40′

KdB wins another free kick for Belgium. This time down to the left and it is KdB himself who takes the set piece. He tries to put it deep inside the far post but it flies just wide.

36′

KdB finds Meunier on the right, but his low cross is too close to the keeper. Hakimi avoids Castagne and goes into the box. He tries to smash it past Courtois but overshoots the shot. The opportunity missed.

32′

Thorgan Hazard is hacked down by Amallah. But Belgium are unable to clear the ball from the resulting free kick. Both sides are locked in a midfield battle, with neither side able to progress.

29′

Meunier misreads a high ball and Boufal is quick to throw. He sends a deep ball into the box for Ziyech, who sets up En-Nesyri, but his shot is miles high off the post.

26′

Courtois takes a huge risk after holding on to the ball a little too long. He gets away with a fake pass. Nervous moment there for Belgium.

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23′

Ziyech reappears and he drifts in and unleashes a shot, which is tipped over the bar by Courtois.

20′

Belgium brings the ball back from outside. Meunier somehow bounces up the left wing and after some unsuccessful shots and passes, he sends a shot that goes straight at the keeper.

16′

Morocco have been steadfast so far, with their defense offering very little space for Belgian attackers. Belgium plays an innovative set piece trick, but KdB’s shot is blocked.

1. 3′

KdB wins a free kick at the corner of the penalty box. His delivery was strong enough. Belgium now attack down the left. It wins a corner, which is played short, but the crossing opportunity misses.

10′

Thorgan Hazard has been heavily involved for Belgium so far. Belgium take it slow as they pass it around the back, but Meunier is unable to control the ball and Morocco gain possession.

6′

Ziyech poses a real danger from the right for Morocco. He whips in another cross and Vertonghen had to stay sharp to clear it. Belgium win a couple of corners, but not much of it.

3′

And the game begins. Morocco thunder down the right with Ziyech leading the charge but his cross is close to Courtois.

PLAYER 11

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Timothy Castagne, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Amadou Onana, Thorgan Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard (captain), Michy Batshuayi

Morocco: Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Sofyan Amrabat, Nayef Aguerd, Romain Saiss (captain), Hakim Ziyech, Azzedine Ounahi, Selim Amallah, Soufiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri

PREVIEW

Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne knew he did not play well in his team’s first World Cup match. He said that when he accepted the man of the match award.

“I don’t know why I got the trophy,” De Bruyne said. “Maybe it’s because of my name.”

With De Bruyne looking to improve after the unimpressive 1-0 win over Canada, Belgium have another chance against Morocco on Sunday to show why they are the No.2 ranked team in the world behind Brazil.

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This could also be the last World Cup chance for many in the highly-rated Belgium squad, as the ‘golden generation’ have been often reminded of in the run-up to Qatar. The backbone of the team – De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – are all in their 30s.

FORECAST 11

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dendoncker; Meunier, Onana, Witsel, Carrasco; De Bruyne, E. Hazard; Batshuayi

Morocco: Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

Hazard acknowledged that Belgium’s chances were better at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But he is not writing this tournament off.

– The team was better four years ago. We still have the quality to win games, to win competitions, he said. “We’ve got some guys – they’re a bit older now, but we’ve got experience. We’ve got the best goalkeeper in the world. We’ve got one of the best midfields in the world. We’ve got the strikers. We’re a complete team.”

Hazard said the first games are tough and the Canada opener was typical.

“There’s always a lot of stress around it and you don’t want to lose the ball, so you tend to hide a little bit,” he said. “I’m not worried. We have to work together. We have to start getting to know each other again.”

Coach Roberto Martinez, who said the performance against Canada was one of Belgium’s worst since he has been in charge, may be tempted to bring in fresh faces against Morocco.

“Our first half against Canada, we didn’t play at our top level,” Martinez said. But we reacted very well in the second half.

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Martinez would very much like to bring back powerful forward Romelu Lukaku, who missed the Canada opener with a left thigh injury and is doubtful for the entire group stage. Some Belgian media have reported that Belgium’s record goalscorer could return earlier than expected against the Moroccans at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

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Morocco will be less confused by the prospect of trying to contain De Bruyne who has already succeeded in suppressing another of the world’s best midfielders in Luka Modric.

A 0-0 draw with 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia in their first Group F match was a promising start to the World Cup for Morocco and especially for coach Walid Regragui, who had less than three months to prepare his team after only having was hired at the end of August.

He had coached Morocco in just three friendlies before entering the World Cup. Compare that to Zlatko Dalic’s five years in charge of Croatia. Or Martinez’s six years in Belgium.

The World Cup schedule gave Morocco a scary start with 2018 runners-up Modric and Croatia followed by De Bruyne and Belgium, who finished third in the last World Cup. But the point against Croatia gave a real confidence booster.

“It’s not easy to arrive in these conditions, but I accepted the challenge,” said Regragui. And the Croatia result “made us believe,” he added.

When is the World Cup match between Belgium and Morocco?

The FIFA World Cup Group C match between Belgium and Morocco starts at 18:30 IST at the Al Thumama Stadium.

Where to watch live Belgium vs Morocco in FIFA World Cup 2022 in India?

The live streaming of the Group C match between Belgium and Morocco will be available on Sports18 in India.

Where to watch live Belgium vs Morocco in FIFA World Cup 2022 in India?

The live streaming of Group C match between Belgium and Morocco will be available on Voot, Jio Cinema in India.

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