Sports

Morocco/Nigeria: FIFA WWC – Morocco Stun South Korea to Claim First-Ever Victory


Debutantes Morocco have claimed their first-ever victory at the Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 win over South Korea in their second Group H encounter on Sunday, all but confirming the Asian side’s exit from th3 tournament.

Morocco are 55 rungs below South Korea in the FIFA women’s ranking, but the African side made an early breakthrough with their first-ever World Cup goal from striker Ibtissam Jraidi.

In the sixth minute, Hanane Ait El Haj whipped in a cross from the right and Jraidi dived forward to make contact with a deft glancing header that went in at the far post.

“We are just so pleased our efforts have paid off. This victory is for Morocco and Arabs, it’s the fruit of our hardwork,” Jraidi told reporters afterwards.

Park Eun-sun nearly levelled with a diving header of her own at the other end but the forward saw her effort go agonisingly wide off the post, much to the relief of Khadija Er-Rmichi in Morocco’s goal.

Er-Rmichi saw Germany find the net six times in their group opener, but she was hardly tested by the South Koreans, who failed to have a shot on target and struggled to make inroads into the final third as the Moroccan defence stood firm.

“There’s a sense of pride for us to pull this first World Cup win out of the bag,” coach Reynald Pedros said, dedicating the victory to the King of Morocco.

“We didn’t change our philosophy” after losing 6-0 to Germany, Pedros said, adding that “The Korean team is not like the German team and we got off to a blinding start… We were efficient in the box, that was missing against Germany.”