Morocco earned a surprise 1-0 victory over South Korea on Sunday, July 30 to secure the country’s first win at a FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) in a match where defender Nouhaila Benzina also made history.
Striker Ibtissam Jraidi scored the only goal of the match as Morocco became the third debutants to win a game at this tournament.
It was a match filled with significant landmarks as Benzina, who started for Morocco became the first player to wear a hijab at a senior-level Women’s World Cup.
Despite making her first appearance at the tournament this year, Benzina, almost capped an impressive performance with a goal, but volleyed over the crossbar.
Jraidi’s sixth-minute header was also Morocco’s first ever goal in this tournament.
The Atlas Lionesses played with more freedom in an afternoon game against South Korea, scoring in the 6th minute and hanging on till the final blast of the whistle.
Ranked 55 places below South Korea in the world rankings, it was a surprise when the debutants took the early lead, but Morocco held on for a memorable win.
Teenager Casey Phair had a chance to level for South Korea from close range late on but shot wide.
“We are just so pleased our efforts have paid off. This victory is for Morocco and Arabs, it’s the fruit of our hard work,” Jraidi told reporters.
Morocco suffered a heavy 6-0 loss to Germany in their opening game but was much improved in Adelaide Stadium today.
Despite two defeats in two games, South Korea is yet to be eliminated as Germany suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Colombia in Group H’s later match.
South Korea will play Germany on August 3 in their final group stage match while Morocco will face Colombia.