The Atlas Lioness are one of the eight teams that have debuted at the Women’s World Cup.
Morocco’s women witnessed a commanding 6-0 loss against Germany on Monday in their opening match at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
In what was expected to be a challenging match for the North Africans, German veteran Alexandria Popp opened the scoring in the 11th minute only seconds after having a header blocked.
Popp triggered excitement again with an assist from her teammate Klara Buhl as she nailed a corner kick in the 39th minute of the match.
Buhl had her chance at Morocco’s Khadija Er-Rmichi box before scoring the Germans’ third goal before halftime.
Ranked second in the world rankings behind the United States, Germany’s second-half thrashing of the Moroccan side came at the blame of the Atlas Lioness, who mistakenly placed the ball in their own goal twice.
Leaving no mercy, Lea Schuller completed the match by adding another goal in the 90th minute after Er-Rmichi was left diverted from an earlier shot attempt.
Morocco is partaking in the competition for the first time ever. However, the team appeared to stand no chance in the match as it held a 25% possession against the Germans.
With this victory, Germany leads Group H at the Women’s World Cup, with the Moroccans expected to face South Korea in their upcoming match.
First hijabi-wearing footballer
Despite Morocco’s loss, Nouhaila Benzina made history after being the first player to wear the Islamic headscarf at the senior-level Women’s World Cup.
Her groundbreaking appearance has been voiced as an inspiration for women worldwide.
“Girls will look at Benzina (and think) ‘that could be me,'” said Assmaah Helal, a Muslim Women in Sports Network co-founder of the hijab.
“Also the policymakers, the decision-makers, the administrators will say, ‘we need to do more in our country to create these accepting and open and inclusive spaces for women and girls to participate in the game,” Helal added.
Moroccan captain Ghizlane Chebbak pointed to the team’s responsibility as the squad represents the only team from the MENA region.
“We are honoured to be the first Arab country to take part in the Women’s World Cup,” Chebbak said on Sunday.
“We feel that we have to shoulder a big responsibility to give a good image, to show the achievements the Moroccan team has made,” Chebbak added.