Morocco booked their place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals on Tuesday as Achraf Hakimi’s stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango’s magnificent early effort.
After scraping through Group B in third-place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.
The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.
Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah’s deep cross.
The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight.
In the quarter-finals, Morocco will face either Côte d’Ivoire or Egypt.(dpa/NAN)