Goalkeeper Kasey Keller of the United States pulled down Moroccan forward Salahaddine Bassir in the 26th minute and midfielder Mustapha Hadji, the African player of the year, converted a penalty kick to give Morocco a 2-1 win in an exhibition soccer match today.
Morocco took the lead in the 15th minute. But the Americans tied the match four minutes later when Eric Wynalda settled a long ball from Chad Deering and beat Moroccan goalkeeper Khalid Fouhami to the lower-left corner of the net. Wynalda's record 33rd goal for the U.S. national team came in his first appearance since Bruce Arena took over as head coach.
"I don't think I touched him [Bassir] on the play," Keller said of the foul that resulted in Morocco's game-winning goal. "But in that situation, with us playing before such a large crowd, you can't really expect to get calls like that in our favor. It's a tough way to lose, but we played well."
The Americans' best chance to tie the game came in the 65th minute when Jovan Kirovski's effort from the top of the Moroccan penalty box was punched wide.
The game marked the second time the United States played in Africa, the first coming in a 3-1 loss to Morocco in 1992. Arena's squad completed its 1999 schedule with a 7-4-2 record, including a third-place finish in the Confederations Cup in Mexico.