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Les Lions de l'Atlas

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By The Atlas Lions, May 20 2019 02:53PM

By Morocco World News


Rabat – Morocco’s football club RS Berkane (RSB) won the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final by defeating Egyptian club Zamalek SC (1-0) on Sunday, May 19, at Stade Municipal in Berkane.


Throughout the match, the Moroccan club fought hard to score against the Egyptian team, but luck and Zamalek’s goalkeeper thwarted their efforts.


In the 14th minute of play, RSB’s defender, Omar Nemssaoui, kicked the ball into the goal area and the kick was converted into a header but the ball hit the pole. The same play was repeated in the 41st minute when RSB’s forwarder Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba’s kick hit the pole.


RSB outperformed their Egyptian opponent and kept the pressure on throughout the second half.


Despite excellent play from RSB, Zamalek nearly managed to score in the 56th minute. The Moroccan team were saved by the skills of goalkeeper, Ali Mhamdi, who blocked the goal.


Zamalek became complacent with both teams at zero, but the Moroccan team pushed through and scored a dramatic goal in the final minutes.


In the 4th minute of the additional time, RSB’s Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba was finally able to put the ball in the opponent’s net, making himself the top scorer in the CAF Cup with 8 goals.


The second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final is scheduled for Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. (GMT)

By The Atlas Lions, May 20 2019 02:22PM


By Morocco World News


Moroccan international footballer Abderrazak Hamdallah has won the Golden Shoe Award and the title of the best scorer of the Saudi Football Championship during the 2018-2019 season. The player has made history by topping the charts of Saudi Football as the top goal scorer ever recorded.


The footballer was given the award during a ceremony held on Saturday in Riyadh by the League of Saudi Championship.


The footballer expressed pride over winning the award, emphasizing his determination to continue his achievements in his football career.


Following his astonishing performance, the footballer is now the top scorer of the Saudi football championship with 34 goals.


The footballer tweeted several photos of the ceremony, with captions to express his excitement over the win.


“Thanks God, I won two prestigious prizes; the best scorer in the Saudi league and the best player in the league,” said the footballer.


He also dedicated his tweet to thank his fans and his city, Safi, a port city on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.


Hamdallah’s secured the awards after helping his Saudi football club Al Nassr to win the t Saudi football championship on Thursday, after beating Al Batin 2-1.


Hamdallah scored both goals for his team.


The 28-year-old footballer joined Al-Nassr football club in 2018.


It is remained to be seen whether Head Coach of Morocco’s National Football Team Herve Renard would summon Hamdallah for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN) after a small rift between them.


Renard had summoned Hamdallah to play with Morocco in March.


The BBC said that the footballer could not accept Renard’s invitation for family reasons.


Renard has commented on Hamdallah’s decision, saying that he spoke to him on the phone.


“He declined for reasons you know, I had 33 other players to manage, so I turned the page.”


Hamdallah made his debut with the Atlas Lions in a friendly against Burkina Faso in February 2012.


He also played for Morocco’s under-23 football team and the national football team.



By The Atlas Lions, May 17 2019 10:11PM

Arsenal and Manchester United have both been linked with the Moroccan star - but so too have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund


Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech will leave the club this summer - it's just a matter of where.


Ziyech, the left-footed Moroccan international, played a starring role in the Dutch club's run to the Champions League semi-finals.


The 26-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable campaign in Amsterdam, scoring 21 goals and registering 24 assists for Erik ten Hag's side as they completed a domestic double.


Scouts have flocked to the Johan Cruyff Arena to keep tabs on the club's star names, and Ziyech has impressed.


Manchester United , Arsenal and Liverpool have all been watching him - as have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, with the pair eyeing him as replacement for Arjen Robben and Christian Pulisic respectively.


Bayern have already made contact with the player's representatives.


Ziyech has been non-committal on his future thus far, saying after the club sealed the Dutch title this week "That [a move] will come by itself. When that happens, everyone will automatically hear it."


Ajax are resigned to losing the ex-Twente star for a relatively meagre £25million, due to a release clause in his contract.


But Overmars admits he will go with their blessing.


"He leaves when a top club comes," said the Ajax boss. "He is in focus because of his achievements in the Champions League.


"Many big clubs are buzzing around him. We promised Hakim [that we would] agree to a good transfer."


Ziyech was named the club's player of the year after his displays.


He is expected to be part of the Morocco squad at this summer's Africa Cup of Nations also, with the Atlas Lions having been drawn in Group D, alongside Namibia, South Africa and Ivory Coast.


https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/ajax-confirm-hakim-ziyech-leave-16162139

By The Atlas Lions, May 16 2019 06:54PM

(Goal.com) The Morocco internationals played key roles during the 2018-19 season as the Sons of Gods completed a domestic double


Hakim Ziyech has been named Ajax’s Player of the Year and his compatriot Noussair Mazraoui got the Talent of the Year award.


Coach Erik ten Hag made the announcement, on behalf of the supporters, during the end of season ceremony in Amsterdam on Thursday.


Ziyech and Mazraoui helped Ajax end their five-year wait for a league title on Wednesday, and they also played a part in Ajax's Dutch Cup triumph.


Ziyech impressed the world with his outstanding performances for Ajax during the Uefa Champions League, inspiring them to the semi-finals where they eventually lost to Tottenham Hotspur on the away goals rule.


During the 2018-19 season, Ziyech contributed 19 goals and 16 assists in 43 outings across all competitions while Mazraoui provided four goals and an assist in 42 matches.


Ziyech’s future at the Johan Cruyff Arena remains uncertain with several European clubs including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid reported to be targeting a summer move for him.


Next month, the duo are expected to play crucial roles for Morocco at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.


The Atlas Lions have been drawn in Group D against Namibia, South Africa and Ivory Coast.

By The Atlas Lions, May 14 2019 06:20PM

(CAFonline.com) Frenchman Herve Renard still ranks as they first coach in African history to win the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with two different teams. Renard produced one of the most scintillating results ever leading Zambia to the 2012 crown with a penalty shoot-out victory over Cote d’Ivoire.



Three years later, he turned the Ivorians tears from 2012 into chants of jubilation when he led them to the title with another post-match penalties conquest, this time over Ghana’s Black Stars.



He now looks straight at another unprecedented piece of history with Morocco’s Atlas Lions as he hopes to win a third continental crown with a side that has not won the title since 1976. Renard and his charges reached the quarter final of the 2017 showpiece losing 1-0 to Egypt.



Can Renard, and the Atlas Lions dream of quenching a 43-year old thirst?


“I don’t know…. everything is possible in football but first we have to look at our opening game which is the most important, then step by step. We have a tough group and it will be very important to come to Egypt with an ambition of respect all our opponents,” the Frenchman stated.


Morocco are in Group C with Renard’s former employers Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia.


“We are in a very tough group and we need to come in here very concentrated. We have to be ready from the first game to get a good result which will give us some confidence going forward,” he added.


The 50-year old will be counting on the experience from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia where despite bowing out in the group stages, the Atlas Lions gave encouraging performances. They finished bottom of the group after replicate 1-0 losses to Iran and Portugal and drew 2-2 with Spain who equalized in the final minute of added time.


“This experience will be very important because we played very good football. Though we didn’t get the result we wanted, all Moroccans were proud of their team. Now, we have to make them very happy again in Egypt,” stated the coach.


“We are coming in with an ambition and if you come with an ambition you have to beat everyone. We have a very good team and we need to believe in ourselves.”


Renard believes going through to the final will be tougher this time especially with the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams.


“The expansion makes it more difficult because there is one more round to play and the teams are more ambitious. But we are hoping to go very far in this tournament,” Renard noted.



Morocco topped their qualification group ahead of Cameroon with both sides picking 11 points with identical three wins, two draws and a loss from group B. The only loss they suffered was against each other, Cameroon winning the first leg (1-0) and Morocco winning the return tie (2-0).



Based in Cairo, Morocco will kick off their campaign against Namibia on 23 June at the Al Salam Stadium before playing Cote d’Ivoire five days later on South Africa on July 1 all at the same venue.

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