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Morocco 3-1 South Korea: Atlas Lionesses celebrate first-ever World Cup victory
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Ibtissam Jraidi (right) was on target with Morocco’s first-ever goal in the World Cup finals (James Elsby/AP)
Ibtissam Jraidi (right) was on target with Morocco’s first-ever goal in the World Cup finals (James Elsby/AP)

Morocco celebrated their first Women’s World Cup finals victory after Ibtissam Jraidi’s early header saw the African side upset South Korea 1-0 in Adelaide.

Jraidi nodded home in the sixth minute of the Group H contest as the Atlas Lionesses bounced back impressively after being thrashed 6-0 by Germany in the opening match of what is their debut World Cup campaign.

With South Korea substitute Casey Phair striking wide late on, Reynald Pedros’ side saw out a narrow win over opponents lying 55 places higher than them in the world rankings at 17th, and who are left facing elimination having lost each of their first two matches.

There was history made via Morocco’s team selection as defender Nouhaila Benzina, having come into the starting line-up, became the first woman to play at a World Cup wearing a hijab.

And another milestone came in the opening few minutes when Jraidi met Hanane Ait El Haj’s cross with a glancing header to register the team’s first-ever goal in the competition.

Park Eun-sun went close with a diving header at the other end, before further Moroccan pressure included Sakina Ouzraoui and captain Ghizlane Chebbak hitting shots wide in quick succession just after the half-hour mark.

Benzina had a chance to get on the scoresheet early in the second half when Kim Jung-mi failed to hold a corner, but she sent her volley off-target.

As South Korea — managed by Englishman Colin Bell — attempted to push for an equaliser, Cho So-hyun headed wide from a corner and 16-year-old Phair, who had become the competition’s youngest-ever player when coming on in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Colombia, struck the wrong side of the post.

Morocco then might have boosted their tally, with their substitute Rosella Ayane rolling an effort wide, before the final whistle confirmed their ground-breaking win.


Women's World CupSouth KoreaSouth Korea WMoroccoMorocco
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