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First team

En-Nesyri and his historic goal

The striker, after scoring against Spain in the final group stage game, is the first Blue and Whites’ player in history to score in a World Cup whilst at the Club.

En-Nesyri’s World Cup experience didn’t get off to a dream start. The striker wasn’t selected by Morocco coach, Hervé Renard for the first group stage matches, in which the North African outfit was defeated by 1-0 in both clashes against Iran and Portugal.

Already eliminated from the competition, the coach gave him minutes against Spain in the last match. En-Nesyri stepped on to the pitch in minute 72, substituting K. Boutaïb, and in less than 10 minutes scored his first World Cup goal. The Malaguista converted with a powerful and accurate header following a F. Fajr corner kick in minute 81, putting his team 1-2 in front, leaving Spanish goalkeeper, De Gea unable to do anything to stop it. In the end, the 2-2 draw permitted ‘La Roja’ to qualify to the round of 16 as first in the group.

Parallels between Ben Barek – En-Nesyri

Spain – Morocco only has one historic precedent. In November 1961 the two teams locked horns in a two-legged tie to qualify for a place in the 1962 Chile World Cup. Spain won both the first leg (0-1 in Casablanca) and the second (3-2 in Madrid). It was in this last match that a Malaguista scored a goal for Morocco. Abdullah Ben Barek, current Club adviser, scored the ‘gol del cojo’, so-called because he played the match whilst injured. Fifty-seven years later, history was repeated.