Rioters torch cars, injure journalist in Brussels after Morocco World Cup win

Belgian police deployed water cannons and tear gas on crowds who had taken to the streets during and after the game.

Violence broke out in Brussels during and after Morocco’s historic 2-0 victory over Belgium at the World Cup, prompting police to use water cannons, tear gas, and perimeter fencing to control the crowds, reported AP.

Rioters threw bricks at cars and set fire to steps.

According to Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere, some fans carried sticks, and a journalist had was struck in the face by fireworks.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close pleaded with football fans to avoid the city’s core and assured them that the police were making every effort to maintain law and order. Police orders forced the interruption of the subway and tram traffic.

Fans, many of whom have Moroccan roots, joyfully celebrated the Atlas Lions’ victory in many cities across Belgium.

The number of those detained in the incidents was not immediately clear.

Shock win

Morocco secured a big win against Belgium on Sunday with less than 20 minutes left, when Abdelhamid Sabiri scored to give Morocco the lead.

Zakaria Aboukhlal made it 2-0 as the game was in its dying minutes, sealing a big shock victory over the world’s second-ranked team.

Hakim Ziyech’s first-half goal at the Al Thumama Stadium earlier in the game was disallowed for offside.

The outcome raises important concerns about Belgium, who were thought to be strong tournament candidates. But in their opening group game against Canada, they managed a meagre 1-0 victory.

The fact that some Moroccan players were either born in Belgium or play club football in the country made the game even more exciting.

In its four previous World Cup encounters with African teams, Belgium has gone undefeated.

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