A week full of ups and downs came to a sweet end for Bayern Munich right-back Noussair Mazraoui. The 25-year-old right-back recovered from a hip injury to start for Morocco in their historic 2-0 win against Belgium on Sunday. The win against Belgium has put Morocco on the cusp of qualifying for the round of 16.
Nossair Mazraoui was stretchered off in the first group game earlier this week due to a hip injury. Initially, it was feared that he would be ruled out of the World Cup, but it turned out to be a minor knock. Despite fighting a race against time to be fit for the game against Belgium, Mazraoui played the entire 90 minutes.
The Moroccan defender was not spectacular in the final third against Belgium, but he was solid defensively. He was tidy on the ball, boasting a passing accuracy of 92%. Even though Mazraoui is primarily a right-back, he did a fine job in the left-back role against Belgium.
Bayern will breathe a sigh of relief after seeing Mazraoui play the entire 90 minutes against Belgium. The representatives of Mazraoui were confident about him playing again this World Cup, but completing 90 minutes against Belgium would have taken them by surprise.
Noussair Mazraoui is likely to play more games in the World Cup as Morocco took a big step towards qualification for the next round. He is expected to start against Canada in the final game of Group F on December 1. Morocco can finish first in the group if they manage to beat Canada by a big scoreline.
The Bavarian club has already lost Lucas Hernandez to a long-term injury as the French defender ruptured ACL in his right knee during France’s 4-1 win against Australia. He is unlikely to play again this season. Sadio Mane is also missing the World Cup due to an injury to his tibia. The Senegalese forward is expected to be back in two to three months after undergoing surgery last week.
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Heartbreak for Alphonso Davies and Canada
Alphonso Davies became the first Bayern player to score at World Cup on Sunday since Mario Gotze scored the winner against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final. The Canadian left-back opened the scoring against Croatia, but they failed to get all three points. Canada’s run in the World Cup came to an end courtesy of this defeat.
Croatia bounced back before halftime to score two goals. The Croatian team eventually scored the third and fourth goals in the second half to seal three points. Josip Stanisic was an unused substitute against Canada. Croatia can seal the qualification for the next round if they avoid defeat against Belgium in the final group game next week.