3 September 2014 23:33
Injury-hit Morocco could only muster a 0-0 friendly draw with Qatar in Casablanca on Wednesday.
Morocco coach Badou Zaki was unable to call on new Bayern Munich centre-back Mehdi Benatia, while goalkeeper Karim Fegrouch, midfielder Zakaria Labyad, defender Achraf Lazaar and forward Marouane Chamakh had all withdrawn during the week.
Despite the missing players, Morocco played their part in an entertaining clash at the Stade Mohamed V, the only thing missing from the contest was a goal.
However, Zaki – who started his second stint in charge in May – will be concerned by the fact that his team have now won just once in six matches and he will be desperate for Morocco’s form to improve before they host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.
Morocco enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages and Nabil Dirar put an early header wide.
It was Qatar who created the best chances of the opening period, however, and Boualem Khoukhi saw a corner from the left almost curl in the far corner but Anas Zniti tipped over.
Defender Almahdi Ali Mukhtar then almost put the visitors ahead in spectacular fashion on the stroke of half-time with a first-time 25-yard shot with the outside of his right foot that went just wide of the left-hand post.
Morocco piled on the pressure after the break, but were met by a stubborn Qatar rearguard.
The final opportunity of the match did fall to Morocco with Aatif Chahechouhe letting fly from distance and forcing a fine fingertip stop from Sateh Abdulnasser.
Morocco now face Libya on Sunday, while Qatar play Peru next Tuesday.