Morocco seal late draw
Morocco substitute Hamza Abdourazzouk scored a dramatic equaliser one minute from time to save Morocco from home defeat in a 2-2 draw with top-ranked Ivory Coast in their World Cup qualifer in Marrakech on Saturday.
A delicate chip from Salomon Kalou and a stooping header by Kolo Toure looked set to ensure a second victory for the Ivorians in Group C and a handy step towards ensuring progress to the next stage of the African qualifiers for the 2014 finals in Brazil.
But a strong header Abdourazzouk rescued home hopes and possibly saved the job of coach Eric Gerets as Morocco fought back to share the spoils from the striker
Kalou chipped the Ivorians into an eighth minute lead, outsprinting the defence to get first to the end of a fine through ball from Siaka Tiene.
Captain Houcine Kharja equalised for Morocco four minutes before the break from the penalty spot but Toure restored the lead with a close in header on the hour mark.
It was Toure’s fourth goal for his country as he celebrated his 98th appearance for the Elephants.
Talismanic captain Didier Drogba, who scored last week as the Ivorians opened their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 home win over Tanzania, was a towering presence on attack but not involved in any of the night’s decisive actions and eventually taken off with six minutes left.
Morocco fielded a team much changed from their disappointing exploits at the African Nations Cup earlier this year, where they were one of the pre-tournament favourites but went home after the first round.