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Discussion Starter #1
Date: 27/01/2004
Time: 13:00 (GMT Time)
Stadium: Monastir

Preview:

Nigeria are hoping the rich form of Jay-Jay Okocha will transfer to the Cup of Nations when they open their Group D campaign on Tuesday.

The Bolton forward is expected to start in the match in Monastir, alongside Arsenal's Nwankwo Kanu.

Morocco will be led in this difficult group, which also includes South Africa, by Deportivo La Coruna's Noureddine Naybet.

"Perhaps it is good to be in a tough group like this," Okocha said.

"To win here, we have to beat the big teams anyhow."

Coach Christian Chukwu is also keen to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by talk of a 'group of death'.

"I'm not really worrying about how Morocco will play. If they wish they can worry about us," he said.

As well as the experienced Naybet, Morocco coach Badou Ezaki can also call on a wealth of exciting young talent for this opening match.

The likes of 20-year-old Bordeaux striker Maroune Chamakh, Jaoud Zairi, 21, from Sochaux and 22-year-old midfielder Houcine Kharja, who plays in Italy, are all expected to feature.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/3430869.stm

My Prediction: Nigeria 2 Morocco 1
 

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Not sure, but I feel we can do it. I haven't seen a lot of Morocco lately, so I cannot judge them. I only know them from a few years ago with Hadji, Chiba, Hadda, Naybet, Benzekri :)D ). I know that they have a few young guys who are promising, Chamakh, Zairi.

Nigeria is always a surprise. In potential we are capable of lifting the cup, but you never know. I look forward to the game a lot! Only 36 minutes to go :nervous:
 

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hehe Benzekri, what a goalie! :tongue:

Very good match-up, cant wait to watch the highlights later on. Nigeria should be favourites but like with Cameroon and Senegal not winning their first match I expect another tie here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Starting Lineups:

Nigeria: Vincent Enyeama, George Abbey, Celestine Babayaro, Isaac Okoronkwo, Joseph Yobo, Seyi Olofinjana, Austin 'Jay-Jay' Okocha, John Utaka, Nwankwo Kanu, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Julius Aghahowa

Morocco: Khalid Fouhami, Walid Regragui, Abdelsalam Ouaddou, Talal El Karkouri, Noureddine Naybet, Jaoud Zairi, Abdelkarim Kissi, Houcine Kharja, Youssef Safri, Mokhtari Youssef, Marouane Chamakh
 

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Halftime: Nigeria 0 Morocco 0

Something is wrong with the Nigerian formation. They got 3 strikers plus their midfielders are also attacking. They are relying more on individual play than team therefore there is no good build up for an attack. Morocco on the other hand looks very organized, very nice ball distribution from them. Zairi is causing some trouble to the Nigerian defence, he is linking up well with Chamakh who should have scored that header.
 

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Deserved victory for Morocco, very disappointing performance by Nigeria. What about that decision by the Moroccan coach, Badou Ezaki, to substitute Zairi and bring in Hadji! :eek: I'm very happy for Morocco, they haven't been doing well in the past few years but I was very impressed with their football today :)
 

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Jose luis pirri said:
Halftime: Nigeria 0 Morocco 0

Something is wrong with the Nigerian formation. They got 3 strikers plus their midfielders are also attacking. They are relying more on individual play than team therefore there is no good build up for an attack. Morocco on the other hand looks very organized, very nice ball distribution from them. Zairi is causing some trouble to the Nigerian defence, he is linking up well with Chamakh who should have scored that header.
Yes, we had Aghahowa in the centre, Yakubu on the left, Utaka on the right and Kanu just behind Aghahowa. Then also Okocha on the midfield, which totals 5 offensive players. Not a bad initiative, but they failed to cause havoc in the Moroccan defence. Morocco on the other hand defended strongly and also surprisingly, Fouhami looked strong as GK.
 

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From what I had seen from Fouhami before he wasn't all that strong either, that's why I was so surprised. Of course he is nowhere near Benzekri ;)

Btw, how about Chadili, he seemed quite good.:confused:
 

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Here i was thinking he was Mustapha Hadji wen they showed him on the bench all the time, uncanny resemblence! even for brothers.

Great defending from Marocco. Nigeria was way to slow on their passing game. and they didnt have any planes of how to go forward. they tried through the middle all the time wen it was so tight. they should have gone wider.
 

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whata n great result for Morocco.

i guess the so called Ajax scouts that were supposed to watch Zairi will not be disapointed?
 
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