Morocco have been the surprise package of the World Cup so far, keeping clean sheets and picking up results against 2018’s second and third-placed nations, Croatia and Belgium. Those results have placed Walid Regragui’s Atlas Lions in a position for Morocco to reach the last 16 for the first time since 1986 — they only need a result, in any capacity.
Their most recent triumph against Belgium was a hard-though slog of endeavour and enterprise, with Romain Saiss and Zakaria Aboukhlal getting the goals late on. Indeed, this could be classified as Morocco’s ‘Golden Generation’ with Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Hakim Ziyech, Nayef Aguerd and Youssef En-Nesyri all giving the nation an elite complexion — and they appear intent on making it count.
For Canada, it has been a World Cup of near-jubilation, but ultimate despair. Les Rouges may feel they were hard done by in their opener against Belgium as Alphonso Davies missed a penalty and a couple of potential calls went against them, but they were ruthlessly cut open by Croatia last time out.
A 4-1 defeat to 2018’s runners-up has ended their tournament, but that’s unlikely to affect their appetite to beat Morocco. John Herdman will be urging his players on to conclude their Qatar sojourn in style.
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Canada vs Morocco match stats
Jonathan David has been a goalscoring menace since bursting onto the scene with Gent and now Lille. Many were backing the New York-born forward to light up 2022’s tournament, and while it hasn’t quite worked out, it’s certainly not for the want of trying. In fact, only Kylian Mbappe (13) and Youssef Msakni (nine) have had more shots at the 2022 World Cup than David (eight). He will be itching to get at least one goal to etch his name in the World Cup record books.
This match is also set to be packed with plenty of flair and skill. As things currently stand, Canada boast two of the top three most prolific dribblers at the World Cup. Tajon Buchanan currently leads the way for most attempted take-ons with 15, while Alphonso Davies sits level with Mbappe on 14. Hakim Ziyech is certainly no laggard, either, currently sitting on nine alongside Vinicius Junior.
11 Oct 2016 – Morocco 4-0 Canada – International Friendly
01 Jun 1994 – Canada 1-1 Morocco – International Friendly
This will be the first competitive meeting between these two nations. They met recently in a 2016 friendly, with Morocco cruising to a 4-0 triumph. Herve Renard — mastermind of Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina — was the Atlas Lions boss six years ago and sealed victory thanks to goals from Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez, Ziyech (two) and Rachid Alioui.