Achraf put in a solid two-way shift today in Morocco’s friendly against Slovakia, in which his team won 2 - 1 while dominating the majority of the play.
In what was, for the most part, a humdrum, Achraf, interestingly enough, played the first half as the team’s right-back, while switching to the left-back slot in the second half when the original starting left-back, Hamza Mendyl, came off at half-time. We’ve seen Achraf dominate the left flank for his national team before, and tonight he looked good there too. It’s encouraging to have that kind of versatility in your team, and though he’ll never be a complete Nacho — a player comfortable across all four positions in the back-line — he can hold his own on both flanks.
Morocco deserved this victory thoroughly. They dominated possession, and though they didn’t create many clear-cut chances in the first half, they had their sights on goal, and Achraf did well to constantly provide overloads on both flanks:
On one occasion, he even found himself darting down the middle, which, clearly is not something he’s rehearsed in in an in-game situation:
Slovakia did not test Achraf — or anyone in Morocco’s back-line, for that matter — much. They ceded possession throughout the match, and rarely threatened. They were however, dangerous on the odd counter, and in the first half, Achraf did find himself rushing back to cover markers centrally when his teammates had been caught out (his speed is ridiculous):
It was not a perfect game from Achraf. There were moments where he got caught. Here he sprints back and is able to obtain the ball which falls to him, but gives it away unforced shortly after:
The match, which was played at Stade de Genève in Switzerland, will be a nice boost for the Moroccans heading into the World Cup.
We’re all looking forward to the Ronaldo - Achraf / Isco - Achraf duels in the group stages, I’m sure.