Watch: Hakim Ziyech looks bemused, as Morocco see just their third World Cup goal in 24 years disallowed

Watch: Hakim Ziyech looks bemused, as Morocco see first World Cup goal for 24 years disallowed: Hakim Ziyech (1st L) of Morocco celebrates scoring his side's first goal later ruled offside with their teammates during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Morocco have heartbreakingly seen their first goal of World Cup 2022 chalked off by VAR.

A Hakim Ziyech free-kick managed to evade just about everyone in the penalty area, including Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Romain Saiss was clearly offside but the video assistant asked the referee to go and look at it himself at the screen.

Former Wolves defender Saiss didn't actually get a touch on the ball – but the referee deemed Saiss to have been in the sight line of Courtois and therefore ruled the goal out for the offside. 

See more

Belgium dropped Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans ahead of their second game, bringing in Everton star Andre Onana, who impressed in the second half of the Red Devils’ 1-0 win over Canada. Morocco meanwhile were able to name left-back Noussair Mazraoui, despite the Bayern star being a doubt for the fixture.

The Belgians began the game with more urgency than they managed in the opening stages against Canada, earning two free-kicks either side of the penalty area and testing the Moroccan defence, while Thomas Meunier tested goalkeeper Munir El Kajoui within the first 20 minutes, too. Munir was a late replacement for Sevilla stopper Bono, ruled out of the match before kick-off. 

Silhouette of goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi of Belgium is seen prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

(Image credit: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Once more, however, the first half ended goalless and with very few incidents to discuss. The Atlas Lions grew into the first half with arguably the most pulse-raising moment coming around 34 minutes, when the fleet-footed Achraf Hakimi burst free down the right flank and took a potshot from the edge of the area. 

The Paris Saint-Germain fan blazed over but the Al Thumama Stadium, predominantly filled with fans from the north African nation, cooed like it was clearer cut chance than it probably was in reality – likewise, a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick around 39 minutes which landed on the roof of the net was perhaps greeted with more excitement than necessary, given the whip and pace of the delivery. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.