Nayef Aguerd and his Morocco teammates are on their way home from this year’s AFCON tournament after a 2-0 defeat to South Africa in the round of 16.

Morocco claimed top spot in their AFCON group with seven points from their three games, but were unable to progress to the last eight of the competition following their disappointing loss against South Africa last night.

Aguerd and his Morocco side were 1-0 down just before the hour mark after a goal from Evidence Makgopa gave Bafana Bafana the lead. PSG star Achraf Hakimi missed a penalty with five minutes left of the tie, things got worse for Aguerd and his fellow countrymen, with on loan Manchester United midfielder, Sofyan Amrabat, being sent off in the dying minutes of the game.

Teboho Mokoena’s free kick in stoppage time sealed the 2-0 win for South Africa, setting up a quarter final tie against Cape Verde, and confirming Aguerd and Morocco’s shock exit from the competition. The Atlas Lions exit was seen as such a surprise, as they were regarded as one of the heavy favourites to go on and win this year’s AFCON.

Additionally, based on FIFA’s world rankings as of late last year, Morocco were ranked as the best men’s national side in Africa. Aguerd, will now make his way back to east London to rejoin his West Ham teammates.

Manager David Moyes said speaking today, as reported by the clubs Official Website, on the 27 year old’s impending return: “I expect him to be back with the squad soon.”

Tomorrow’s clash at the London Stadium against Bournemouth is understandably too soon for the central defender to make his return as Morocco’s defeat to South Africa was played last night.

However there is some belief that Aguerd could be back in the West Ham squad for the Hammers visit to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Written by Finlay Jackson