Rabat, Morocco – (African Boulevard News) – Moroccan goalkeeper Taha Benrhozil’s heroics sent Morocco to the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final as he saved three of eight penalties, helping his team beat Mali 6-5.
The high-pressure semi-final match was forced into a penalty shootout following a goalless draw in regulation time. It was an intense battle between two well-matched teams, but Benrhozil proved to be the ultimate difference-maker.
The Moroccan goalkeeper made crucial saves in the shootout, which set the stage for Souhail Khoukhou’s winning penalty. The Moroccan team and fans erupted into celebrations as they had reached their first-ever U17 AFCON final.
The Moroccan team has been impressive throughout the tournament, scoring 10 goals in just four matches, and conceding just one. They recorded a 3-0 victory against Zambia in their opening game, a 3-0 win over Gabon in their second match, and a 2-1 win against Ghana in the quarterfinals.
The team is now set to face either Senegal or Burkina in the final, which will be held on May 19 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers, Algeria.
The young Moroccans, who have thrilled fans with their creative attacking play, will be looking to capitalize on their momentum and win their first-ever U17 AFCON trophy. But they will face a formidable opponent in the final, as Cameroon or Ivory Coast will be equally motivated to win the title.
Several stakeholders and industry experts have praised the Moroccan team’s progress and its goalkeeper’s heroics.
“This is a historic moment for Moroccan football, and the team has shown great resilience and determination throughout the tournament,” said a senior official from the Moroccan Football Federation.
The Moroccan team’s head coach, Youssef Fertout, also praised his players, saying that they had worked hard to reach the final. “We have a young and talented team, and we are ready to face any challenge,” he said.
The TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations has provided a platform for young African footballers to showcase their skills and talents. The tournament features teams from across the continent, and the winners will represent Africa at the FIFA U17 World Cup, which will be held later this year.
As the final approaches, football fans in Morocco and across Africa will be eagerly anticipating a thrilling encounter between two top teams. The Moroccan team will be hoping to make more history and lift the U17 AFCON trophy for the first time.