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Nouhaila Benzina: Morocco secures first Women’s World Cup win as defender makes history | CNN


Sarah Reed/Getty Images

Nouhaila Benzina made her first start at the World Cup.



CNN
 — 

Morocco earned a surprise victory over South Korea on Sunday to secure the country’s first win at a Women’s World Cup in a match where Nouhaila Benzina also made history.

Striker Ibtissam Jraidi scored the only goal of the match in a 1-0 victory as Morocco became the third debutants to win a game at this tournament.

It was a match filled with significant landmarks.

Defender Benzina started for Morocco to become the first player to wear a hijab at a senior-level Women’s World Cup. Benzina, making her first appearance at the tournament, almost capped an impressive performance with a goal, but volleyed over the crossbar.

Jraidi’s sixth-minute header was also Morocco’s first ever goal in the tournament.

“We are just so pleased our efforts have paid off. This victory is for Morocco and Arabs, it’s the fruit of our hard work,” Jraidi told reporters, per Reuters.

Morocco suffered a heavy 6-0 loss to Germany in its opening game, but was much improved in Adelaide.

Ranked 55 places below South Korea in the world rankings, it was a surprise when the debutants took the early lead but Morocco held on for a memorable win. Teenager Casey Phair had a chance to level for South Korea from close range late on but shot wide.

South Korea will be eliminated from the competition should Germany win or draw against Colombia later on Sunday.



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