Panama's Ervin Zorrilla (right) is challenged by Bilal Jellal of Morocco during their FIFA U-17 World Cup match at Sharjah Stadium on October 24, 2013, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
SHARJAH, UAE – Morocco scored a pair of goals in each half to defeat Panama 4-2 on Thursday in the final game Group C for each in the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Sharjah Stadium.
Despite scoring its first goals in three games, the CONCACAF runner-up was eliminated from the competition.
A free kick by Christopher Bared deflected off the bottom of Morocco’s four-man wall and Werner Wald pounced, putting a low shot inside the far post from 14 yards out to give the Canaleros a 20th minute lead.
Morocco equalized 10 minutes later on the first of Younes Bnou Marzouk’s two goals. The forward, on the books of Italian powerhouse Juventus, made a long run into the box, took on a pair of defenders and hit a low shot past Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime De Gracia.
Three minutes after Nabil Jaadi chipped the ball off the crossbar, Bnou Marzouk added his second in the 40th. The 17-year-old started the sequence with a ball to Jaadi down the right sideline and the midfielder returned the favor from the end line, playing the ball back into the box. Bnou Marzouk pounced and unleashed a blast from 16-yards out to give Morocco a 2-1 lead.
Morocco’s Hamza Sakhi scored the goal of the match four minutes after the break. The midfielder latched onto an attempted clearance following a Younes Boudadi cross and hit a sublime lob over De Gracia’s right shoulder to give the African side a two-goal cushion.
In the 85th minute, Karim Achahbar put away a rebound off a Jaadi effort that struck the crossbar to make it 4-1.
Panama, which lost to Uzbekistan (2-0) and Croatia (1-0) in its first two outings, pulled a goal back with two minutes left in regulation. Ismael Diaz cut the ball back to Ervin Zorrilla, who scored from 12 yards.