Where’d he go? Morocco goalie disappears at World Cup game

Nov 26, 2022, 4:29 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2022, 9:14 am
Morocco players pose for photographers prior to the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium ...

Morocco players pose for photographers prior to the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

              Morocco players pose for photographers prior to the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              Players of Morococo celebrate defeating Belgium 2-0 in a World Cup group F soccer match at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
            
              Morocco's Romain Saiss, back left, Abdelhamid Sabiri, front left, Zakaria Aboukhlal, front right, and goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi, back right, react after the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi saves during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              Morocco players pose to the start of the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              Players of Morococo celebrate defeating Belgium 2-0 in a World Cup group F soccer match at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
            
              Morocco's Romain Saiss, back left, Abdelhamid Sabiri, front left, Zakaria Aboukhlal, front right, and goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi, back right, react after the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi saves during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              Morocco players listen to the national anthems prior to the start of the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              From left, Croatia's Mario Pasalic, Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri, Morocco's Yahya Jabrane, Morocco's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou in action during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
            
              Belgium's Amadou Onana, center left, fights for a header with Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi, center right, during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou grabs the ball during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou mysteriously disappeared before kickoff of his team’s shocking 2-0 World Cup win over Belgium on Sunday.

Bounou lined up with the Morocco team for the national anthems and then went to speak to coach Walid Regragui, who embraced him and turned to speak to his reserve keeper. Munir El Kajoui then ran onto the field in time to be included in the pre-match team photo and didn’t allow a goal as Morocco beat second-ranked Belgium.

Regragui cleared up the mystery swap after the match.

“He came to me (after the anthems), he didn’t feel right and he asked if we should substitute him,” Regragui said.

The 31-year-old Bounou, who was born in Canada, is Morocco’s No. 1 goalkeeper and plays for Spanish club Sevilla. He played in Morocco’s 0-0 draw with Croatia in the opening round of group games.

___

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Where’d he go? Morocco goalie disappears at World Cup game