In a memorable debut appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Morocco secured a spot in the last 16 by defeating Colombia 1-0. The 72nd-ranked Moroccan team achieved their victory through Anissa Lahmari’s toe-poke goal in stoppage time at the end of the first half, following a saved penalty attempt.
Despite their 6-0 defeat to Germany in the opening match, Morocco bounced back with a 1-0 win against South Korea. In the final Group H match, Germany, the two-time champions, were held to a 1-1 draw by South Korea, which allowed Morocco to advance to the knockout stage.
Colombia topped the group with six points, edging out Morocco on goal difference. As a result, Germany and South Korea were eliminated from the tournament.
Morocco’s next challenge in the last 16 will be against France in Adelaide, while Colombia will face Jamaica in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The match against Colombia saw both teams creating chances in the first half, but it was Morocco who managed to capitalize on a penalty opportunity. After Colombian keeper Catalina Perez saved the initial spot-kick, Anissa Lahmari was quick to react and nudged the ball into the net during the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
In the second half, Colombia dominated play in search of an equalizer, but Morocco’s goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi made crucial saves to deny Colombia’s efforts. Despite a frenzied finish with end-to-end action, Morocco held on to secure their fairytale start to their maiden World Cup campaign and progress to the knockout stage.