By Our Correspondent
Tournament debutants Morocco have defeated Colombia 1-0 and advanced to the knockout phase in a Group H fixtures that saw pre-tournament favourites Germany knocked out.
The Atlas Lionesses began the brighter of the two sides, enjoying more possession and looking the side more likely to score.
However, clear-cut chances were few and far between in the first half that was until Ibtissam Jraidi was bundled over in the penalty area moments before the break.
Ghizlane Chebbak saw the subsequent penalty saved, but Anissa Lahmari was in the right place to poke home, the rebound to give her nation a priceless lead and leapfrog Germany into second.
Colombia had several fantastic opportunities to equalise in the second half.But Morocco goalkeeper, Khadija Er-Rmichi was equal to everything thrown at her as the game ticked past the 100-minute mark.
The South Americans couldn’t find a leveller, meaning that Morocco thanks in hand to Germany’s 1-1 draw with Korea Republic advanced in second place behind Las Cafeteras.
Morocco became the first Arab team to win a match in the tournament’s history, following their win against Korea Republic.
They have now become the first to make it past the group stage.
Morocco was the first African team to win two successive FIFA Women’s World Cup matches and the first to keep successive clean sheets.
Reynald Pedros, Morocco coach expressed joy after the match and dedicated the team’s victory to the Moroccan fans.
“They (Moroccan fans) are going to support us one more time.
“We love them, we cherish them, and we feel they’re behind us.
“It gives us strength. Well done to all the girls and we’re continuing on our merry way,” he said.