Hakim Ziyech made his return from injury tonight (Friday), playing the final half-hour of Morocco’s 3-1 friendly victory over Senegal and recording an assist.
The attacker, who joined from Ajax earlier this year, injured his knee in our solitary pre-season friendly, away to Brighton, and has yet to feature for the Blues. Before our most recent game, against Crystal Palace, Frank Lampard said the winger was ‘getting closer but not quite fit enough to be on the bench’.
Ziyech took a positive step in his recovery by enjoying some game-time in Rabat, where Senegal, missing Edouard Mendy due to a thigh injury, had travelled for a friendly.
In what was a particularly feisty first half featuring a number of yellow cards, the Atlas Lions took an early lead through Selim Amallah of Standard Liege.
Shortly after coming on with 30 minutes remaining, Ziyech was involved in the build-up to Morocco’s second goal, playing a couple of one-twos before the ball was slid through to Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesryi to score with aplomb.
Then, with five minutes left, Ziyech registered an assist of his own, as his inviting free-kick taken from a wide-left position was headed into the net by Youssef El Arabi.
Senegal, who had created a number of chances throughout the evening, notched a late consolation through a penalty converted by Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, but this was very much Morocco’s night in their first match this year.
They play their second on Tuesday night, also a friendly in Rabat. This time DR Congo are the visitors.