June 4, 2018 / 8:58 PM / in 17 days

Belhanda gives Morocco deserved warm-up win over Slovakia

GENEVA (Reuters) - Morocco’s Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda scored in a 10-minute second-half spell to give the World Cup-bound side a convincing 2-1 win over Slovakia in a warm-up friendly on Monday.

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Morocco vs Slovakia - Stade de Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland - June 4, 2018 Morocco’s Younes Belhanda scores their second goal REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The North Africans, who play Spain, Portugal and Iran in their first appearance at the finals since 1998, dominated the first half and nearly went ahead when Hakim Ziyech hit the post from long range.

Slovakia, who missed out on the tournament in Russia, went ahead in the 59th minute when Jans Gregus rifled home a low shot from 25 meters.

But substitute Kaabi headed Morocco level five minutes later and Belhanda turned the game around when he chested the ball down and fired home with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Ed Osmond

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