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Players of Morocco celebrate after their victory after the penalty shootout in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Round of 16 match between Morocco and IR Iran at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Surabaya, Indonesia. /CFP

Morocco, Mali set up quarterfinal match at FIFA U-17 World Cup

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Morocco will play Mali on Friday for a place in the semifinals of the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup, meaning at least one African side will feature in the last four of the tournament.

Mahamoud Barry of Mali celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Round of 16 match between Mali and Mexico at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium on November 21, 2023, in Surabaya, Indonesia. /CFP

Morocco booked their place in the quarterfinal following a 4-1 win against Iran in a penalty shootout on Tuesday after the match ended 1-1.

Nassim Azaouzi scored an equalizer for Morocco deep into stoppage time in the second half, following Esmaeil Gholizadeh’s opener for Iran, to send the match into a penalty shootout.

Morocco scored all their spot-kicks with Fouad Zahouani netting the winning penalty to send the North African nation into the last eight for the first time in their history. Morocco goalkeeper Taha Benrhozil also saved a retaken kick from Kasra Taheri.

Earlier on Tuesday, a four-goal first-half blitz saw Mali trounce two-time former winners Mexico 5-0. Mahamoud Barry scored twice and further strikes by Ibrahim Diarra, Ibrahim Kanate and Ange Martial Tia sealed an emphatic win for the West Africans.

The quarterfinal will be played at Manahan Stadium in Surakarta.

Senegal could also face either Morocco or Mali in the quarterfinal if they beat France in their Round of 16 match later on Wednesday.

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