Morocco downed defending CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations champions Madagascar 2-1 on Thursday to ensure their spot in the semi-finals at the holders’ expense.
Ymelda’s goal prompted a Madagascan response but the champions fell short, Morocco joining Egypt in the semis.
With so much at stake, the opening stages of the first period unsurprisingly proved a cagey affair until Chretien thwarted two Moroccan attempts at one end before Meaach blocked a shot on the line at the other.
The sides went in at the break goalless but skipper Nassim prodded in team-mate Iazal’s wayward shot to edge Morocco in front early in the second frame prior to a stunning strike from Benmamma that doubled Morocco’s lead.
With less than a minute left of the period, Ymelda found the bottom left corner with a well-placed effort to reduce the deficit and, in an enthralling final frame, Morocco withstood some heavy pressure from the defending champions.
But two missed set-piece opportunities in the final stages ultimately cost Madagascar as Morocco rode their luck en route to booking a semi-final spot.
Goals: 0-1: Nassim, min. 9 (2); 0-2: Benmamma, min. 6 (2); 1-2: Ymelda, min. 0 (2)
CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations 2016
Thursday, 15th December 2016
16.15 - Libya 2-10 Senegal
17.30 - Egypt 4-2 Ivory Coast
18.45 - Madagascar 1-2 Morocco
20.00 - Nigeria v Ghana
Saturday, 17th December 2016