Morocco and Malawi will battle it out in the last eight of the tournament on Tuesday, 25 January. The Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium will play host to the North-East Africa derby in the first clash between these two nations in the AFCON.
Morocco has been a fan favourite so making it to the knockout stages was expected. Malawi however is the surprise contestant. Nevertheless, the Malawian national team has exceeded expectations and now will play the biggest game of their career.
Malawi reached the last stage as one of the top four teams to come out in the group stages. On their way to the previous 16, they defeated Zimbabwe and drew with Senegal. In addition, they picked up positive results in Cameroon.
Morocco dominated over Group C, opening the tournament with wins over Ghana and Comoros and concluding with a draw against Gabon to finish at top of the group. Tuesday’s match promises to provide some fireworks.
Get your bets in as we scope out the teams and take a closer look at the players who have a starring role for both teams.
The Paris Saint – Germain right-back is one of the best in the world. Hakimi has lived up to his potential, a product of the Real Madrid academy. In France, he’s formed a telepathic relationship with Kylian Mbappe. He carried this exemplary form for PSG through to the Moroccan national team.
En-Nesyri is a rare talent in football and the last of the dying breed of number nine. He’s a complete striker who can hold up play, link up, dominate defenders, and score different goals. His club Sevilla has made him their number one striker. So he’s definitely one to bet on scoring against Malawi.
Boufal has been among the best players in the tournament. Dazzling and scoring goals, he’s come into his own during the AFCON. Boufal has assumed the role of a key player and leader in the dressing room.
Mahango scored a brace in his country’s win over Zimbabwe in the group stages. The two goals highlighted the skill sets Mahango has. As an Orlando Pirates player, he is well known in Malawi and South Africa. The knockout stages at AFCON give him a greater platform to build his name in the continent.
The midfield maestro Banda has been a critical player in Malawi’s journey in the tournament. The Simba man is the glue that holds it together in the middle of the park. So a lot will be expected from him when Malawi play Morocco.
Gerald Phiri Jr
Phiri is yet to play a big part in Malawi’s AFCON campaign; Tuesday will present him that opportunity. The Baroka FC midfielder likes playing behind the striker to feed them. He’s close friends with Mahango, having them both on the field will be beneficial for Malawi.
With all the enterprising players on display, Morroco has the better quality and enough to get past Malawi. Therefore, Morocco should go through to the next round with a 2-0 win.