Sofiane Boufal’s 82nd-minute strike helped Morocco to a narrow win over Group C rivals Ghana in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.

Both teams last won the AFCON title over 40 years ago but the Atlas Lions are the ones on the right track to end their 44-years AFCON drought with the win over the Black Stars of Ghana.

Having been listed among the pre-tournament favourites to lift the title on February 6, the game didn’t live up to expectations as their final ball from crossing situations was poor and as a result, neither could create many chances in a cagey opening 45 minutes.

Morocco had the game in the second half but Vahid Halilhodzic’s side was nearly behind in the 73rd minute as Joseph Paintsil’s curler was superbly stopped by keeper Yassine Bounou.

Apart from Paintsil’s earlier chance, neither team had particularly looked like scoring, with Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, in particular, a passenger through most of the game.

Morocco next game will be against Comoros while Ghana will clash with Gabon on Friday.

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