Morocco pulled off yet another World Cup shock, and it was Belgium’s ageing “Golden Generation” that took the hit this time.
The 2-0 upset left Kevin de Bruyne and the 2018 semifinalists in peril of a group-stage exit at what is likely the final World Cup for numerous players on a team that hasn’t been able to win a major title.
Morocco substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri gave his team the lead by whipping in a free kick from a tight angle on the left in the 73rd minute that got under the body of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois — for many, the best in the world at his position.
Zakaria Aboukhlal then guided a shot into the roof of the net off a pass from Hakim Ziyech in stoppage time as Courtois was beaten again.
Belgium, ranked No.2 in the world behind Brazil, had won its last seven group games at the World Cup before the upset. It was Morocco’s first win at a World Cup since 1998 and only it’s third ever.
Belgium would have become the second team after defending champion France to qualify for the knockout stage if it had beaten the Moroccans, but now it will play 2018 finalist Croatia in what will be a crucial final group game.