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Morocco v Cape Verde

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Belhanda: The key to Morocco's success?

Belhanda: The key to Morocco's success?

Morocco and Cape Verde will contest their first ever competitive match when they lock horns in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.

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Cape Verde showed glimpses of their previously unknown abilities against Bafana Bafana in their debut AFCON match on Saturday, holding the hosts to a goalless draw.

Midfielders Luis Platini, Ryan Mendez and Heldon Ramos were a handful for the hosts and should, after earning their first AFCON point, be more confident of getting a win.

The Blue Sharks' game plan was clear: run the defence ragged with their speedy, tricky players and then introduce the lanky striker Julio Tavares for aerial duels. Not much should change against the Atlas Lions who also rely on the speed and guile of their midfielders.

Moroccan playmaker Younes Belhanda will be central to their success. Coming on as a substitute against Angola he showed his attacking prowess and just missed the target after a mazy run. The number 10 should start with Oussama Assaidi and Abdelaziz Barrada on the flanks, two players capable of creating their own magic.

Despite their attacking impetus, they too failed to find the back of the net against Angola but, like Cape Verde, have sharpened their scoring touch according to coach Rachid Taoussi.

"As you know, we are not efficient enough, we don't make the most of our opportunities and in this coming match we know we will have opportunities to score," he said.

"But in order to do that, we need to focus, we need to work to reach our goal, which is to score. "

The game kicks off at 8pm on Wednesday night at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Posted: 22/01/13 11:25

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