November 27, 2022 coverage of the World Cup

By Mike Hayes, Matt Meyer, Ben Morse and Aimee Lewis, CNN

Updated 4:57 PM ET, Sun November 27, 2022
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9:33 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

US Soccer changes Iran flag on social media to show support for Iranian protesters

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

US Soccer has changed Iran's flag on its social media accounts to show support for the protesters in Iran, the federation told CNN on Sunday.

US Soccer said that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show "support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights" but always planned to go back to the original flag. 

The change "was a one-time graphic," US Soccer told CNN. "We have the main flag on our website and other places."

The emblem from Iran's flag is missing on US Soccer's social media, but the emblem is there on its main website.

Iran state media reported Sunday that the United States should be kicked out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and suspended for 10 games for a "distorted image" of the country's flag.

"By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US football team breached the @FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty," Iran state-aligned Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "Team #USA should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022."

FIFA did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

The United States faces Iran on Tuesday in Group B action for a spot in the round of 16.

9:05 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

It's 0-0 as the second half gets under way between Belgium and Morocco

After yet another goalless half at the World Cup, Belgium and Morocco are back underway.

For Belgium, the scare at the end of the half could jolt it into life.

For Morocco, more of the same would suit it well, you'd imagine.

9:00 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Half-time: Belgium and Morocco goalless

Morocco's Hakim Ziyech, not pictured, scores a goal against Belgium that was disallowed following review.
Morocco's Hakim Ziyech, not pictured, scores a goal against Belgium that was disallowed following review. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

Unlike today's earlier game, there have been glimpses of quality in this first half but with the same reward: no goals.

Kevin De Bruyne has looked the most threatening for Belgium, as the European team pile on the pressure, in particular from set piece.

Amadou Onana had the clearest opportunity to break the deadlock but his header from close range went flying over the bar.

Hakim Ziyech came closest for Morocco, but his 'goal' from a freekick was ruled out for offside on the stroke of half time.

8:39 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Belgium turns up heat on Morocco defense to no avail

Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Morocco's Selim Amallah fight for the ball during the first half of their match on November 27.
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Morocco's Selim Amallah fight for the ball during the first half of their match on November 27. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

There have been no goals in the opening 30 minutes but it's a much better performance from Belgium so far, compared to its opening match.

Having looked poor against Canada last time out, its star players -- from the Hazard brothers to Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi -- have looked much more slick this time out.

De Bruyne in particular has been central to all of the team's good work so far, jinking past defenders and providing the main thrust for the side.

However, the score remains goalless and, with a crowd dominated by Morocco fans, the result is not certain for the European side.

8:15 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Cycling from Paris to Doha to watch France

From CNN's Ben Church in Doha

Traveling to watch their team play at the World Cup took a little longer than usual for two French fans.

Mehdi Balamissa and Gabriel Martin decided the best way to travel from France to Qatarwas on two wheels.

The friends spent three months traveling 7,000 kilometers (roughly 4,350 miles) by bicycle to reach Qatar 2022 and watch their beloved France defend its title.

“It was a crazy idea, but we’re the kind of people that have big ideas and don’t want to have any regrets,” Balamissa said, as both spoke to CNN Sport a day after arriving in the country.
“So, since we are both self-employed, we decided to block off three months of our time and come to Qatar.”

The pair started their mammoth journey at the Stade de France in Paris, home of the French national team, and finished at the stunning Lusail Stadium, the venue that will host the final at Qatar 2022.

They would travel on average 115 kilometers per day, taking appropriate rest days when needed.

The idea came about after cycling from France to Italy to watch their country play in the UEFA Nations League last year and they wanted to test themselves with a much longer trip.

They hoped their trip would promote the benefits of sustainable travel and said they plan to offer cycling workshops to children from disadvantaged backgrounds when they eventually arrive home.

But first the pair plan on enjoying their time in Doha. After all, they’ve worked hard for it.

Continue reading here.

8:16 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Kick off: Belgium vs. Morocco begins

Morocco's Hakim Ziyech and Belgium's Timothy Castagne fight for the ball during their match on Sunday, November 27.
Morocco's Hakim Ziyech and Belgium's Timothy Castagne fight for the ball during their match on Sunday, November 27. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

The match is underway!

There is pressure on both sides -- Belgium and its 'golden generation' against Morocco and its need for points. So, the clash at the Al Thumama Stadium should be an intriguing one.

8:13 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

A match Morocco 'need to win'

Morocco players huddle before the match versus Belgium on Sunday.
Morocco players huddle before the match versus Belgium on Sunday. (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

With a team peppered with stars -- Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech leads the attack and it has two superstar fullbacks in Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui -- Morocco is a team which could threaten any nation.

There are also some connections between the two teams as the Morocco squad includes four players -- Ilias Chair, Anass Zaroury, Selim Amallah and Bilal El Khannous -- who were born in Belgium.

But Morocco head coach Walid Regragui has urged those with connections to Belgium to remain focused on the task at hand.

"For any dual national ... they have a special emotion and that's a positive energy and you have to draw on that," Regragui told reporters, per Reuters.

"But it is a match that we need to win (irrespective) of who we are playing. We have to focus on that.

"We know that this is a special match for them, but we have to put that into context. You cannot get too emotional because that could lead you to make mistakes. And that could be very expensive for us."

A win today for Belgium would seal its place in the round of 16, while a defeat for Morocco would make its chances of progressing extremely difficult.

8:12 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Belgium faces Morocco as Group F heats up

Belgium fans cheer ahead of the match against Morocco on Sunday.
Belgium fans cheer ahead of the match against Morocco on Sunday. (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

Now our attention turns to Group F and specifically the Al Thumama Stadium where Belgium faces Morocco.

Belgium began its campaign with an underwhelming 1-0 victory over Canada in its opening game of the tournament.

The team, which is packed full of stars, was far from its best -- conceding a penalty, which was saved, and needing a Michy Batshuayi goal to scrape a victory -- so will be anticipating a vast improvement against a Morocco side which drew 0-0 against Croatia last time out.

Although it showed effort and some glimpses of quality against the 2018 World Cup finalist, Morocco never really looked like claiming three points, but a point is a positive start to its campaign.

8:10 a.m. ET, November 27, 2022

Belgium vs. Morocco: Lineups ahead of Group F match

Belgium players huddle prior to their match against Morocco on November 27.
Belgium players huddle prior to their match against Morocco on November 27. (Michael Regan/FIFA/Getty Images)

Belgium

Manager: Roberto Martínez

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois

Defenders: Thomas Meunier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen

Midfielders: Timothy Castagne, Amadou Onana, Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne

Forwards: Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi

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Morocco

Manager: Walid Regragui

Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Nayef Aguerd, Roman Saïss, Noussair Mazraoui

Midfielders: Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah

Forwards: Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal

For the squad list of all the teams playing in the World Cup, click here.