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Afcon 2019 : The Atlas Lions lose to Benin and leave the continental tournament

The Atlas Lions have officially left the Africa Cup of Nations, losing to Benin national football team. After the two teams equally scored one goal during the second half, they entered extra time and ended the game with kicks.

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Morocco loses to Benin. / Ph. DR

It is the end of the Atlas Lions’ trip to Egypt, where they lost, Friday, to Benin after an exhausting game. Benin emerged victorious of the match that lasted more than 120 minutes. After a goalless first half, the two teams managed to equally score during the second half. Extra time granted to the two African football teams was not enough for them to score, hence the kicks.

During the first half of the game, hosted by the Al Salam stadium in Cairo, the Atlas Lions started strong. The first five minutes of the game were dominated by the Atlas Lions, who threatened the penalty box of the Squirrels.

Despite the efforts of the Moroccan Lions, all opportunities to score were missed. However, pressure put by the Moroccan squad did not weaken the West African team. By the start of the second half, Benin’s center back Moise Adilehou opened the scoring, hitting the net of the Atlas Lions and granting Benin its first goal.

A heated and exhausting game

By the 58th minute of the game, Hakim Ziyech missed a golden opportunity when he failed to equalize. After Benin took the lead for a couple of minutes, Atlas Lions stroked again with an equalizer from Youssef En-Nesyri at the 76th minute of the heated game.

After a series of missed opportunities, the Moroccan team managed to secure a penalty kick. However, the dream to beat the Squirrels evaporated when Hakim Ziyech missed the net at the 93rd minute.

After a five-minute break, the Atlas Lions and the Squirrels had to hit the field for extra time. During the first 15-minute extra half, the Moroccan team monopolized the ball but was unable to score.

The second extra time was also marked by a series of opportunities, initiated by the Atlas Lions. However, time was up, pushing the two teams to rely on kicks. The Atlas Lions missed two kicks, while the Benin Squirrels managed to score three times, qualifying for the quarter-finals and sending the North African team home.

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