With or without Bono? Morocco replace goalkeeper AFTER the anthems but before kick-off

With or without Bono? Morocco replace goalkeeper AFTER the anthems but 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)

Someone obviously told Morocco goalkeeper Bono that sometimes you can't make it on your own.

The Sevilla stopper was set to line up for his side in goal and even made it through the national anthem but before the line-up photo, went over to his manager, Walid Regragui to tell him he had a problem. It has been speculated that it was an issue with his eyes. 

Regragui immediately replaced Bono with back-up keeper Munir for the game. We've heard of late changes but that's pushing it…

Morocco players line up for team photos 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.

Spot the latecomer… (Image credit: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The big incident of the first half saw Hakim Ziyech's free-kick ruled out for offside – but not before the video assistant referee had asked the ref to go to the monitor.

Former Wolves man Romain Saiss was in the eyeline of Thibaut Courtois and deemed to be interfering with play in one of the only clear opportunities from either side in yet another goalless half of football. 

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.

Hakim Ziyech had a goal ruled out for offside  (Image credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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 Munir El Kajoui within the first 20 minutes, too.

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.