Debutants Morocco lose opening match of Women's World Cup 6-0 to Germany

An Alexandra Popp double and two own goals help contribute to heavy loss in Group H

Morocco midfielder Sofia Bouftini, left, looks dejected alongside teammates after a 6-0 loss to Germany in their Women's World Cup Group H opener. AFP
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Morocco were humbled in their first ever match at the Women's World Cup, going down 6-0 to one of the tournament favourites Germany.

A near full-house of 27,256 fans packed Melbourne Rectangular Stadium as two-time winners Germany turned on the style to fire a warning to their title rivals.

Morocco had never previously qualified for a women's World Cup and became the first Arab women's team to compete at a global finals.

On paper it was the biggest mismatch of the group stage, with 70 places separating them in the world rankings, and the gulf was apparent from the off.

Morocco trailed 2-0 at the break thanks to a Alexandra Popp brace and conceded a third a minute after the restart to Klara Buhl.

The debutants were denied a historic first World Cup goal when Anissa Lahmari was adjudged offside.

The Atlas Lionesses then contributed to their own downfall with own goals from Hanane Ait El Haj and Yasmin Mrabet before substitute Lea Schuller rounded off the scoring in added time.

Morocco's French coach Reynald Pedros said after the match: "Today we came up against a team that was superior. It was David and Goliath.

"They had something we didn't. But we will stay positive and keep our heads up."

Germany captain Popp said: "We're super-happy we were able to play like this in our opening match. It's always difficult because you don't really know where you stand or how your opponent will play.

"But we were able to impose our game. To have this kind of atmosphere in a stadium like this, that's what a World Cup is all about. It pushes you, the fans carry you."

Germany, who won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007, went out in the quarter-finals four years ago.

But since then coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has overseen impressive progress, shaping a dynamic, front-foot team which finished runners-up at last year's Euros to England.

Morocco next face South Korea on Sunday before their final Group H match against Colombia on Thursday, August 3.

Colombia face South Korea on Tuesday in the final match of the first round of group games.

Updated: July 24, 2023, 5:52 PM