Morocco′s World Cup 2023 fixtures, betting odds and statistics:
How did Morocco qualify?
Morocco qualified by reaching the final of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations. They won all three group games, beat Botswana 2-1 and then Nigeria on penalties before a 2-1 defeat to South Africa in the WAFCON Final.
Morocco’s major tournament record
Best World Cup result: Set to make their debut
Africa Cup of Nations
Best WAFCON result: Finalists- 2022.
Morocco at World Cup 2023
After Morocco’s men’s national team upset the odds by reaching the World Cup semi-finals last year, it’s the turn of the women to show what they can do, set to make their debut at the tournament.
It’s not harsh to say that the Atlas Lionesses qualified for this World Cup basically out of nowhere.
Before last year, they’d only ever won one game at the Africa Cup of Nations, beating Egypt in 1998 but still exiting in the group phase, failing to qualify for all nine editions between 2002 and 2022.
This all changed last summer, with Morocco qualifying for WAFCON as hosts, and making a run that no one could’ve foreseen.
Reynald Pedros’ side won all three group games, ousted Botswana in the quarter-finals before causing a massive upset in the semis, defeating 11-times WAFCON champions Nigeria on penalties.
In the final, despite being roared on by 51,000 supporters at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Morocco were beaten 2-1 by South Africa, but had done enough to secure World Cup qualification for the very first time.
So now, will the Atlas Lionesses be able to make an impact at the World Cup?
Well, recent friendly loses at the hands of Poland, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Czechia and Romania, failing to score in any of these matches, suggests not.
Morocco’s World Cup debut will come on 24 July at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, taking on two-times World Champions Germany, which could be a humbling evening for the North African side.
After that, their chances of claiming a victory do increase, meeting Korea Republic in Adelaide and then Colombia in Perth, but they’ll still be underdogs in both of these matches.
It would be a minor-miracle if Morocco won a game in Group H, let alone got through the knockout phase.
Morocco team news
Defender Maryame Atiq missed out on the squad due to injury.
Morocco′s key players: Sabah Seghir
22 year old defender Sabah Seghir has just nine international caps to her name, but is already a key player for this team.
She made only two appearances at last summer’s WAFCON, but her game has gone to a new level since then, reflected by the fact she’s started Morocco’s last five friendlies.
Seghir joined Sampdoria in 2021, before moving to Napoli in Serie B on loan back in January, helping I Partenopei gain promotion to the top-flight.
Morocco′s key players: Ghizlane Chebbak
Leading Morocco out for their World Cup debut in Melbourne will be Ghizlane Chebbak, adding to her 56 caps.
The midfielder started all six WAFON matches last summer and has scored 12 times for the Atlas Lionesses, doing so against Burkina Faso, Uganda and Senegal during that tournament on home soil.
Now 32 years old, she’s spent her entire senior career with Association’s Sports of Forces Armed Royal, or ASFAR for short, who are based in Rabāṭ.
With them, she’s won ten Moroccan titles, making it eight-in-a-row last season, as well as nine Throne Cups and the CAF Champions League title in 2022, her team demolishing Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 4-0 last November.
Morocco′s key players: Rosella Ayane
If Morocco are going to score their first-ever World Cup goal this summer, Rosella Ayane could be the most-likely source.
To date, she’s scored nine times in 19 appearances for the Atlas Lionesses, since switching allegiance from England two summers ago.
This includes scored twice at WAFCON last June, netting in the final itself, subsequently on target in friendly wins over Slovakia and Bosnia & Herzegovina back in February.
Born in Reading, Ayane has spent her entire career playing in England, aside from the 2017/18 season when she was with Apollon Limassol in Cyprus, winning the Cypriot Cup.
She joined Tottenham in 2019, scoring an unremarkable nine goals across four seasons with Spurs, her sole FAWSL goal this season coming in a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in March.
Nevertheless, for a Morocco team lacking top-tier talent, Ayane remains a key figure in their attack.
Morocco′s possible starting line-up for World Cup 2023
Morocco′s full squad for World Cup 2023
|Khadija Er-Rmichi||16||0||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Assia Zouhair||1||0||Chabab Atlas Khénifra|
|Zineb Redouani||22||2||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Yasmin Mrabet||20||3||Levante Las Planas|
|Nesryne El Chad||14||2||LOSC Lille|
|Hanane Aït El Haj||13||0||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Nouhaïla Benzina||3||0||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Rkia Mazrouaï||2||0||Royal Sporting Charleroi|
|Salma Amani||27||5||FC Metz|
|Fatima Tagnaout||23||3||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Najat Badri||11||0||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Anissa Lahmari||2||0||Avant Guingamp|
|Sarah Kassi||2||0||FC Fleury|
|Ghizlane Chebbak||60||21||AS Forces Armed Royal|
|Rosella Ayane||7||5||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Sofia Bouftini||4||0||RS Nahdat Berkane|
|Sakina Ouzraoui Diki||4||0||Anderlecht|
|Fátima Zohra Gharbi||0||CE Europa|