Honduras 2 Morocco 2

26 July 2012 08:34
Men's Olympic football took center stage at Hampden today with the weather staying calm to encourage the crowds

An earlier start to the men’s Olympic football competition at Hampden today and let’s hope for an earlier finish with all the correct flags on display. Another double header with Honduras taking on Morocco before Spain playing Japan. The second game should bring in the crowds with the World and European champions looking to win their fourth major title in a row.The first chance of the game fell to Morocco in the third minute as a clever gentle flick from Noubreddine Amrabat over the out-rushing defence found Aldelaziz Barrada whose header lacked power but was in the right direction. Amrabat was the play-maker of the Morocco side with his running, vision and directions to colleagues putting the Honduran players under pressure. Honduras were a team who liked to attack on the break and their speed could be a factor as the game progresses. The early stages of the game were accompanied by a healthy buzz from the crowd which appeared to be willing the game to spark into life. Not saying the opening minutes were dull, as both sides sized each other up, but some people only understand goals and goalmouth incidents without appreciating the skill required to fire a pin-point accurate pass half the length of the field. Whole Honduras were quick, Morocco were no slouches when an opening was created.  In the 17th minute, Mohamed Amsif had to be alert to come off his line to beat Jerry Bengtson to the ball and he cleared to safety.  In the 24th minute some clever play switching for left to right to centre between Zakarya Bergdich, Soufiane Bidaoui and Noubreddine Amrabat had the Honduras defence chasing shadows before they blocked Amrabat’s shot. Two free-kicks for either side was the next note of interest just after 30 minutes. First up for Honduras whose freekick was on the right of the penalty box at around 23 metres. The freekick was taken by Mario Martinez and it just beat the right hand post.  A similar freekick on the left of the penalty box for Morocco was taken by Zakaria Labyad who found the head of Houssine Kharja but his header failed to find the net as Jose Mendoza’s hand blocked the way. The switch of play across the park tactic finally paid dividends for Morocco when Aldelaziz Barrada scored in the 38th minute. A cross from the left found Zakaria Labyad on the right and his cushioned pass to Barrada was dispatched with venom into the net. The half ended with a 1-0 scoreleine as Honduras missed the chance of the game when Arnold Peralta stole the ball off Maynor Figueroa within the penalty box next to the by-line, he passed the ball to Andy Najar standing one metre away from the goal line in the centre of the goal. As the Honduras fans prepared to celebrate Najar managed to scoop the ball over the bar.Half-time:  Honduras 0 Morocco 1 Ten minutes into the second half and the game was all square again. Jose Valasquez drove toward the Morocco penalty area on the left making dummy efforts for a shot as he moved closer. Once in the box he did fire in a shot which Mohamed Amsif appear to have covered until the boot of Jose Valasquez re-directed the ball in the right hand side of the goal with Amsif heading in the other direction. This encouraged Honduras as they aimed to stay in the opposition half. A corner from the right found an unmarked Mario Martinez whose volley was hit perfectly for power but not so good for accuracy and it sailed over the bar to safety. Then a penalty to Honduras. Arnold Peralta was powering down the right and make a perfect pass to two teammates heading to the penalty spot. As the ball passed substitute Eddie Hernandez he was tripped by Yassine Jebbour and the referee pointed to the spot. After the usual complaints about the rights and wrongs of the award Jerry Bergson slotted the ball home to take the lead. That lead did not last long as Morocco scored the goal of the game when Zakaria Labyad was at the end of more close controlled passing and his perfect lob beat Jose Mendoza at full stretch about five metres off his line. Morocco then went down to ten men when Zakarya Bergdich, didn’t take kindly to a tussle with Mario Martinez and his retaliatory kick brought out the red card from referee Pavel Kralovec. The game settled into a war of attrition with Morocco making it difficult for Honduras to make the man advantage pay off. A flurry of substitutions ensued as the five minutes of additional time started. This did not change anything and once again a full team failed to beat ten men.Honduras: Jose Mendoza, Maynor Figueroa, Jose Valasquez, Arnold Peralta, Mario Martinez (Orlin Peralta 88 mins), Alfredo Mejia, Jerry Bergson (Antony Lozano 79 mins), Alexander Lopez (Eddie Hernandez 57 mins), Jose Valasquez, Andy Najar, Roger Espinoza, Johnny LeveronSubs not used: Hilder Colon, Francisco ReyesMorocco: Mohamed Amsif, Mohamed Abarhoun, Abdelhamid El Kaoutari, Zakarya Bergdich, Zakaria Labyad, Driss Fettouhi, Noubreddine Amrabat (Omar El Kaddouri 90 mins), Aldelaziz Barrada (Imad Najah 89 mins), Soufiane Bidaoui (Houssine Kharja 75 mins), Yassine JebbourSubs not used: Zouhair Feddal, Rayan Frikeche, Soufian El Hassnaoui, Yassine Bounou