Morocco kick off their Africa Cup of Nations tournament this evening having been heavily fancied to go far. It is a tough Group F which also features past winners DR Congo and Zambia, who face off after the game.
The Atlas Lions impressed plenty with their run to the 2022 World Cup semi-finals, and will consider anything less than matching that achievement in Ivory Coast a significant disappointment. Achraf Hakimi is the star name, but Premier League fans will be firmly aware of both Hakim Ziyech and Sofyan Amrabat's talents.
Tanzania stand in their way of making a fast start today, and are unlikely to pose too much of a threat. Tanzania missed the last AFCON, and lost all three games of the 2019 tournament, but are they hopes of getting on the board this time around should forward Mbwana Samatta bring his A game. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog.
Morocco vs Tanzania latest updates
GOAL! En-Nesyri adds a quick third!
GOAL! Ounahi doubles Atlas Lions' lead
GOAL! Saiss slots home the opener
18:58 , Alex Young
Here is our match report.
Thanks for following along!
18:56 , Alex Young
97min: That's your lot! Morocco did it in the end! They will need to improve to have any hope of a deep run in the tournament.
18:52 , Alex Young
93min: El Khannous looks certain to score a fourth but a fine double save denies him.
18:51 , Alex Young
91min: Four minutes added on.
18:49 , Alex Young
89min: Tanzinia are on their feet but still giving it their all.
18:45 , Alex Young
85min: Morocco want four or five here.
18:42 , Alex Young
82min: Yes, it does count! Strange. Didn't look offside, wasn't offside and the referee awards the goal.
18:41 , Alex Young
81min: Hold on, this may not count. Was it offside?
18:40 , Alex Young
80min: Another and it's En-Nesyri at the fourth time of asking! He fires home Ounahi's perfect cross from the right.
18:37 , Alex Young
77min: This could be the second of a few more as Ounahi combines superbly with a team-mate to slot home from the edge of the area.
18:33 , Alex Young
72min: El Khannous is on for Amallah.
18:31 , Alex Young
70min: It goes from bad to worse for Tanzania as Novatus Dismas is shown a second yellow card. It's a clear foul, very late, and worthy.
You can't be doing that.
18:27 , Alex Young
67min: Morocco are queuing up as we hit the halfway point of the second half.
Ounahi fancies his chances and looks to bend an effort towards the far top corner, but it's nowhere near.
18:25 , Alex Young
64min: Oof, that's going to hurt. Ezzalzouli is on the end of a dangerous tackle from Mnoga - very high and nasty - but will be OK to continue.
18:22 , Alex Young
63min: Chibi is the first Morocco player into the book.
18:21 , Alex Young
62min: En-Nesyri is having all sorts of trouble finding space in the Tanzania defence, which really shouldn't be an issue for the Sevilla frontman.
Being marshalled fairly easily at the moment.
18:18 , Alex Young
57min: Absolutely everything comes through Ziyech, who is perhaps one step ahead of his team-mates at times.
He ducks down the flank and twists inside, looking for a red shirt on the edge of the area but no one has kept up with him so the chance breaks down.
18:15 , Alex Young
54min: A slower start to this half than the first. Morocco perhaps confident the job is already done considering Tanzania's inability to pose a threat.
18:11 , Alex Young
50min: En-Nesyri, again, should score! Ounahi with a fine delivery from the right and the striker can't get a full contact on the ball to poke the ball under the goalkeeper.
18:07 , Alex Young
47min: First chance of the half falls to Tanzania as Novatus Dismas tries his luck from distance, and it sails high and wide.
18:06 , Alex Young
46min: Back underway!
Tanzania make a change as Abraham is on for Yahya in midfield.
18:04 , Alex Young
Here come the teams for the second half.
17:53 , Alex Young
Saiss's goal is the difference, and Morocco created enough chances to be out of sight.Tanzania have worked their socks off but it's all about damage limitation.
17:49 , Alex Young
49min: That's your lot.
17:47 , Alex Young
46min: Three minutes added on.
17:46 , Alex Young
45min: A tame call of a Morocco penalty as Ziyech takes a tumble in the area, but it was a fair challenge.
17:46 , Alex Young
44min: Morocco are in a confident mood, with Ounahi juggling the ball on the touchline before winning a throw in.
17:42 , Alex Young
40min: More good work from Ezzalzouli down the left, but again he doesn't have the composure for some end product and blazes a shot over.
17:41 , Alex Young
39min: An early substitute for Tanzania. Allarakhia is replaced by the more experienced Msuva.
17:38 , Alex Young
38min: From the following corner, Hakimi sees an effort blocked inside the area.
17:37 , Alex Young
37min: Ziyech is everywhere! This time he opts to go alone, shifts his feet inside the area and bends a shot at the near bottom corner.
A good save.
17:36 , Alex Young
35min: Tanzania are already getting frustrated. Plenty of rough tackles flying in and Dismas gets booked.
17:35 , Alex Young
33min: That's a sitter for a player of En-Nesyri's quality.
Ziyech whips in a corner, it's a perfect delivery right onto his team-mate's head but En-Nesyri's flicks a header over the bar from five yards out.
Should be 2-0.
17:31 , Alex Young
30min: There it is! Captain Saiss slots home his nation's first goal of the tournament after the Tanzania goalkeeper Mnoga doesn't deal with Ziyech's free kick.
17:30 , Alex Young
28min: A rare foray down the left for Morocco and Ezzalzouli almost carves open a chance after ducking into the area and reaching the byline, but Tanzania snuff out the move.
17:27 , Alex Young
25min: Back underway and we are still waiting for a first shot on target.
17:25 , Alex Young
23min: Water break at the halfway point of the first half. Tanzania have earned it.
17:22 , Alex Young
21min: Everything coming down Morocco's right, which isn't a surprise with Hakimi and Ziyech, but Tanzania are doing enough so far to keep them at bay.
17:19 , Alex Young
18min: Another chance created by Ziyech, who cuts back inside on the edge of the area and whips in a low cross which Tanzania head clear.
17:16 , Alex Young
15min: Tanzania know they are going to have little luck trying to play their way through the Morocco midfield, so we're seeing plenty of long balls - and are boasting more of the ball at the moment.
17:15 , Alex Young
13min: The Sky Sports commentator is racking up Transfermarkt values of the squads (Morocco worth 50x more than Tanzania's, by the way).
On the pitch. Tanzania are busy trying to get out of their own half.
17:11 , Alex Young
10min: That should be 1-0!
Ziyech lofts a ball into the area but Amallah to head down into the path of En-Nesyri, but the striker gets his timing all wrong and clips a shot wide.
17:09 , Alex Young
8min: Morocco want to control the pace of this game. Patient passing across the back line before Hakimi sends Ziyech scampering down the wing to win a throw in.
17:06 , Alex Young
6min: It's a poor corner, straight into Bono's arms.
17:06 , Alex Young
5min: Though Tanzania aren't here to make up numbers. They've won an early corner, but first the referees' mics need a quick fix.
17:04 , Alex Young
3min: Morocco straight on the front foot, as expected. They won't be messing around today against who are expected to be the Group F whipping boys.
17:01 , Alex Young
1min: Here we go!
16:56 , Alex Young
Time for the national anthems. The stadium may not be full but plenty of noise from the those there.
16:52 , Alex Young
Almost ready. The substitutes are making their way to the bench as the starting XIs line up in the tunnel.
16:44 , Alex Young
The atmosphere is building.
16:31 , Alex Young
Morocco players are checking out the pitch.
— Équipe du Maroc (@EnMaroc) January 17, 2024
16:19 , Alex Young
So, big guns Hakimi, Amrabat and Ziyech start for Morocco. Premier League fans will also be aware of former Wolves defender Saiss.
Tanzania boast an Aldershot defender (Mnoga) and Wealdstone striker (Allarakhia) in their starting lineup, while a Boreham Wood midfielder (Sagaf) and Ilkeston Town striker (Starkis) are on the bench.
Teams in full
16:09 , Alex Young
Morocco XI: Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Chibi; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, Ezzalzouli, En-Nesyri
Tanzania XI: Manula; Mnoga, Miroshi, Hamad, Nondo; Hussein, Mao, Abbas, M’Mombwa; Samatta, Allarakhia
16:05 , Alex Young
...and their opponents!
Kikosi cha Timu ya Taifa “Taifa Stars” kitakachoanza kwenye mchezo wa AFCON dhidi ya Morocco kwenye uwanja wa Laurent Pokou (Stade Laurent Pokou), Ivory Coast.
@TaifaStars_ @CAF_Online #AFCON2023 #AFRICANFOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/0BygVClv2H
— TFF TANZANIA (@Tanfootball) January 17, 2024
15:48 , Alex Young
Here's how the Atlas Lions look!
— Équipe du Maroc (@EnMaroc) January 17, 2024
15:34 , Alex Young
It's a slightly quieter day at Afcon today, with just the two fixtures.
Morocco take on Tanzania shortly to kick off Group F before DR Congo take on Zambia in the other group game.
Morocco coach Walid Regragui on AFCON chances
15:20 , Alex Young
"For our first match the most important thing is to play with a squad who are all available for selection. We have established a style of play that we want to use at the Cup of Nations.
"We think that the heat could be decisive in deciding who will win. These are difficult conditions for our players, who nevertheless did what was necessary against Sierra Leone to impose themselves and produce an enjoyable game.
"Of course, there are still details to be corrected, but we are confident in our potential. "We have supporters and our people behind us. We don't want to disappoint them. We are all looking forward to reliving the same emotions as during the 2022 World Cup."
Tanzania coach Adel Amrouche on Morocco
15:10 , Alex Young
"I spoke out a month ago, saying they are one of the best teams in the world. They reached the semi-final.
"They are not a team that win by luck, they win with their abilities. They deserve."
14:59 , Alex Young
Such was their showing at the World Cup, it would be a major shock to see the Atlas Lions fail to get their campaign off with a win.
Morocco to win 2-1.
14:51 , Alex Young
Morocco are one of the favourites to lift the AFCON trophy after becoming the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
The Atlas Lions boast Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi and Manchester United midfielder Sofyan Amrabat among his squad, will be without defender Noussair Mazraoui through injury.
Tanzania, who have made the finals for just the third time, have included four players in their squad who are currently plying their trade at non-league level in England.
Defender Haji Mnoga, who is on loan at Aldershot from Portsmouth, Wealdstone frontman Tarryn Allarakhia and Boreham Wood midfielder Mohammed Sagaf are all playing in the National League, while forward Ben Starkie is on the books at Northern Premier League Premier Division Ilkeston Town.
Where to watch Morocco vs Tanzania
14:42 , Alex Young
TV channel: The game will be broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with coverage starting at 4.55pm ahead of a 5pm kick-off.
Live stream: Subscribers will be able to watch the game on the Sky Go app.
14:37 , Alex Young
Good afternoon and welcome to the Standard's LIVE coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations clash between Morocco and Tanzania.
It's the first game of a tricky looking Group F and one which the Atlas Lions will expect to come through unscathed.
Kick-off is a 5pm GMT. Stick with us.