Morocco successfully bounced back to winning ways at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 win over group C opponents Togo at the Stade d’Oyem in the Gabonese city of Oyem on Friday evening.
Mathieu Dossevi had given Claude Le Roy’s men an early lead, but goals from Aziz Bouhaddouz, Romain Saïss and Youssef En-Nesyri secured all three points for the north Africans.
Morocco next face defending champions, the Ivory Coast, on Tuesday while Togo take on the Democratic Republic of Congo at the same time.
The Atlas Lions had dominated possession from the kick-off, only to concede the opening goal with five minutes on the clock. The Sparrow Hawks finding the back of the net with their first attack.
A thrilling counter-attack finished off by Dossevi, who fired Floyd Ayite’s decisive pass into the back of the net with great aplomb.
Togo’s joy though was short lived, as Bouhaddouz pulled the Atlas Lions level with 14 minutes on the clock. Kossi Agassa guilty of misjudging Fayçal Fajr’s corner-kick; leaving the German based forward with an easy finish.
Romain Saïss put Morocco 2-1 up seven minutes later. Fajr was the provider once more from a set-piece as the Wolverhampton Wanderers forward nodded home following good movement in the box.
The Sparrow Hawks almost hit straight back with Munir Mohand having to be at his very best to deny Emmanuel Adebayor when the former Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester City man made easy work of Medhi Benatia.
Adebayor went close once more following the interval, but having out-jumped Benatia, the burly forward directed his attempt over the crossbar in the 55th minute of the game.
Herve Renard’s men duly doubled their lead with En-Nesyri directing a powerful shot past Agassa in the 72nd minute. The Togo goal-minder had looked suspect all day, and was caught cold once more by the second-half substitute.
Togo probed in the final exchanges and were unlucky not to pull a goal back through Ayite, as Morocco eventually held on for all three points.
Morocco (2) 3 (Bouhaddouz 14′ Saïss 21′ En-Nesyri 72′)
Togo (1) 1 (Dossevi 5′)
Morocco: Mohand; Mendyl, Da Costa, Benatia, Saïss – El Ahmadi, Fajr (Ait Bennasser 81′), Boussoufa – El Kaddouri (En-Nesyri 60′), Dirar, Bouhaddouz (Alioui 90′)
Togo: Agassa; Djene, Ouro-Akoriko, Romao, Gakpe – Bebou, Atakora (Agbégniadan 89′), Ayite, Dossevi (Segbefia 83′) – Laba (Boukari 73′), Adebayor
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