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Morocco beat Serbia in first test before World Cup

IANS  |  Turin (Italy) 

took advantage of two mistakes by to overcome their first-level test in a competitive friendly match played here.

Friday night's meeting brought together two teams that live in opposite realities: the North African, with continuity as a norm and a perfectly defined backbone, and the Balkan, which seeks to build an identity in record time, reports news agency.

It was the first match that Serbian led with full powers. He had served as between October and December, a period in which played two friendlies against and

Krstajic put on the table a 4-3-3 formation that generated offensive options from the "trivote" consisting of Nemanja Matic, and

However, the Serbian attack was overturned very early in the direct game on Aleksandar Mitrovic, whose individual control over the Moroccan centrals was diluted as the minutes passed.

Morocco, for its part, came out with very clear ideas; the coach, Herve Renard, fielded an almost identical 11 to the one who signed standings with a victory over Côte d'Ivoire (2-0) and made only three substitutions.

After an energetic departure from Serbia, the "Atlas Lions", clothed by a large contingent of Moroccan fans, gradually imposed their rhythm and, with their advanced pressure, repeatedly compromised strategy.

The technical shortcomings of the double pivot integrated by and M'Barek Boussoufa did not prevent from gradually winning the battle in the centre of the field.

In the first half hour of the match, a ball without too much danger directed towards Nordin Amrabat ended with the knocked down in the area by the Spartak center-back

regained ground thanks to the errors of the African defenders with the ball on their feet, and in the 37th minute it was tied with a good goal from

Ziyech crossed from the right, Maksimovic lost the mark and the Moroccan point, Khalid Boutaib, topped the score up to 2-1.

After the break, the rhythm of the game slowed down while Krstajic introduced successive changes, none of which amounted to a coup d'etat.

kept up the favourable result without excessive difficulties, to the delight of the fans in

Serbia, who will share a group with Brazil, and in the World Cup, will continue their preparation for the tournament next Tuesday with a friendly against

On the same day, Morocco (in the group of Spain, and Portugal), will face in the Moroccan city of



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 24 2018. 15:12 IST