Morocco stunned Colombia 1-0 in their final group encounter on Thursday at the Rectangular Stadium in Perth, Australia, to advance to the last 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time.
Both teams created chances in the first half, but Morocco’s only serious scoring opportunity came in stoppage time, when Colombia’s Daniela Arias carelessly fouled forward Ibtissam Jraidi in the penalty area.
Morocco took the lead after Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez dived to her left to save Ghizlane Chebbak’s penalty attempt, but midfielder Anissa Lahmari bounced the ball into the net in the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
Anissa Lahmari, a Moroccan midfielder, scores against Colombia.
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) August 3, 2023
After the intermission, the South Americans dominated play in pursuit of an equalizer, with Daniela Montoya and Lorena Bedoya Durango getting shots away in the 59th minute.
In the 72nd minute, Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi found herself in the middle of it again, tipping teenage striker Linda Caicedo’s shot over the bar. End-to-end action marked the frantic conclusion, but Morocco hung on to extend their fairytale start to their first World Cup campaign.
The 72nd-ranked Moroccans scored after a saved penalty at the end of the first half, but their passage was only confirmed after South Korea drew 1-1 with two-time champions Germany in the other Group H encounter.
Colombia topped the group with six points, bettering runners-up Morocco on goal difference, while Germany and South Korea depart the tournament.