Opening day win for Saiss and Morocco

Romain Saiss and Morocco enjoyed the perfect start to their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with an opening day victory over Ghana on Monday.

The Wolves defender led out his country as captain and, like he’s been doing for Wolves in recent months, helped Morocco to a crucial clean sheet, paving the way for the victory.

Morocco’s back four, which featured Saiss at right centre-back, were rarely troubled by Ghana, so when former Southampton winger Sofiane Boufal struck eight minutes from time, it was enough for a narrow 1-0 victory.

The win was deserved one too – Morocco enjoyed 61 per cent of the possession and took 12 attempts on goal compared to Ghana’s five.

One of those 12 attempts saw Saiss come close to the opening goal on 40 minutes, flicking a header narrowly over from a dangerous Boufal free-kick.

Then, after Boufal struck late on in Yaounde, four-time winners Ghana had no response and it’s advantage Morocco in the battle for top spot in Group C.

Sais was one of three current Premier League stars in the Morocco starting eleven, alongside Watford pair Adam Masina and Imran Louza, while Ghana had Leicester City’s Daniel Amartey, Thomas Partey of Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew all starting.

Next up for Saiss and Morocco is tournament debutants Comoros on Friday at 4pm (UK Time), before a meeting Gabon next Tuesday.