Hakimi: Chelsea target fires Morocco past Burkina Faso

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Morocco defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 in Saturday’s international friendly staged at the Prince Moulay Abdullah Stadium.

Achraf Hakimi’s second half effort separated the twi teams as the Atlas Lions stay unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions.

Having lost 2-1 to Cote d’Ivoire seven days ago, the Stallions travelled to the North African nation with the ambition of returning to winning ways. Nonetheless, they were unable to stop Vahid Halilhodzic’s side.

Still fresh from their 1-0 triumph over Ghana their last time out, the 1976 African champions approached the game with a positive mindset, yet the first half ended goalless.

They stepped up their game in the second half and subsequently took the lead in the 51st minute after the Inter Milan star curled a beautiful freekick past goalkeeper Herve Koffi.

The 22-year-old dedicated his finish to Denmark international and Inter teammate Christian Eriksen following his collapse against Finland.

Both players helped Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri to a first Serie A title in over a decade in the 2020-21 campaign.

Despite a late attacking surge by Kamou Malo’s men, they were unable to bounce back against their hosts who dominated every department of the game.

While Hakimi was in action from start to finish, Hakim Ziyech and Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri were named in the starting XI, but they were replaced by Munir El Haddadi and Achraf Bencharki in the closing stages of the game.

The match is part of both countries’ preparations for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers which begins in August.

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Burkina Faso are eyeing a maiden appearance at the quadrennial football showpiece, but they must negotiate their way past Algeria, Niger Republic and Djibouti in Group A.

On the other hand, Halilhodzic’s men are zoned in Group I alongside Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.

Reigning European champions Chelsea are reported to be willing to match Paris Saint-Germain's £56.1 million ($79m) reported approach to see Hakimi join the Stamford Bridge giants.

Nevertheless, he is valued by the Black and Blues at £68.8m (€80m/$96m) with his agent Alejandro Camano playing down links to the Ligue 1 outfit while stating that his future is in doubt.