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23 June 1998 Group A Saint-Etienne - Stade Geoffrey-Guichard
Scotland Morocco
For a short while this evening, Morocco thought that they had done enough to progress to the last sixteen of France 98, however, they were soon to learn that their fate had been sealed by Norway's victory over the Brazil in the last matches in Group A. Both sides entered the night's encounter knowing that only victory would do, and even that was dependent upon the World Champions and favourites beating the Norwegians. The match started at a brisk pace with Scotland controlling the opening exchanges and keeping the ball for minutes at a time, however, every time the Moroccans attacked, they did so with speed looking menacing and dangerous. Hadda, Hadji and Bassir all had the pace to beat the Scottish defence and it was no surprise when, after 22 minutes, Bassir raced on, unchallenged, to Tahar's throughball and blasted his shot beyond Jim Leighton. Scotland were unlucky two minutes later, when El Abrami used his arm to block McNamara's cross in the area, but referee Bujsaim was not entertaining any of the Scottish appeals. The game was still within Scotland's reach and the Moroccan 'keeper, Benzekri, was saving everything which was sent goalwards, whilst looking unsure and flapping at crosses from Burley and Collins. Moustafa Hadji, Morocco's star player in the group stages, had license to roam and he drifted in and out of the game at regular intervals, he was pulling the Moroccan strings, orchestrating each of their speedy breaks. With their confidence restored, Scotland came out for the second half in the knowledge that their destiny was still within their own hands. But that was to change a minute later, the Scots were in the Moroccan half when they lost possession, the ball was again played long, but this time it was Hadda racing against Weir. The Moroccan outpaced the defender and shot on the volley, Scottish 'keeper Jim Leighton stood tall and made the save but the ball looped over his head and bounced agonisingly over the goal-line. Having succumbed to the sucker punch for the second game in a row, Scottish confidence was dented, but Paul Lambert, Gordon Durie and Craig Burley were working hard in midfield and Benzekri saved well from Burley shortly after the goal. Two-nil down and with a mountain to climb, the game was pushed beyond Scotland when Craig Burley was dismissed for the 'outlawed' tackle from behind, on Bassir in the 54th minute. Morocco spent the remainder of the half playing possession football, they made Scotland chase the game, using the full length and width of the pitch. Eventually, Craig Brown replaced the exhausted Gordon Durie with Scott Booth but it was too little, too late. Morocco in fact, pressed to extend their advantage and in the 85th minute Hadda headed the ball to Bassir on the edge of the area and the first scorer, turned, ran towards goal and shot, the ball was deflected off Colin Hendry - leaving Jim Leighton little chance. Morocco, on the crest of the wave thought that they had done enough and that it would be them travelling to Marseilles to face Italy in the next round. But their joy at winning only their second match in the finals was short lived as the news filtered through to the stadium that the Norwegians had won.

(0-1) Bassir (22). Tahar El Khalej sent a long ball over the top, Bassir turned Colin Hendry and from five yards out on the left, drove a vicious left foot volley between Jim Leighton and his right-hand post.

(0-2) Hadda (47). Scotland got caught down the pitch by Hadji's throughball and Hadda won the race with Weir and controlled the ball with his head, he shot right-footed from twelve yards out, Leighton got both hands to it but could do nothing to stop the ball bouncing over his head and over the line.

(0-3) Bassir (85). He received a headed pass from Hadda and with his back to goal on the edge of the area, he flicked the ball over his head, turned, ran into the area and then struck a low, left foot shot goalwards, the ball caught Colin Hendry on the thigh and deflected passed a helpless Leighton and into the net.

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