Morocco star Hakim Ziyech ruled out of Malawi and Argentina games

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The Ajax playmaker was forced off in his side’s league defeat to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday

Hakim Ziyech has been ruled out of Morocco’s matches against Malawi and Argentina on March 22 and 26 respectively.

The 26-year-old could only manage 23 minutes of action before limping off in the Sons of the Gods’ 1-0 loss to AZ Alkmaar in Sunday’s Dutch Eredivisie game.

Prior to the encounter at the AFAS Stadion, Ziyech had missed Ajax’s last game against PEC Zwolle due to a calf injury which appeared to have resurfaced.

Though the Atlas Lions have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the unavailability of the playmaker who has contributed 16 goals and 11 assists at club level this season could be a blow for Herve Renard’s men when they take on Argentina for an international friendly four days after wrapping up their Afcon qualifiers with a clash against Malawi at the Kamuzu Stadium on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag rued the replacement of Ziyech’s as an ‘annoying moment’ that affected his team’s performance against AZ Alkmaar.

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“We started the game well. We also had the match under control. Then Hakim had to leave, the rhythm of the game was then interrupted a bit,” Ten Hag said, per Football Oranje.

“His calf was good again. We thought he could play, yesterday everything was fine. Then you have to change, which is, of course, an annoying moment. That broke the match and the rhythm with us. Then AZ prevailed.”

Ajax who are placed second in the Dutch top-flight standings will be hoping to have the 26-year-old playmaker back in time for their Uefa Champions League quarter-final fixture against Juventus on April 10.

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