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Achraf Hakimi scored a brilliant free kick to send Morocco through to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a 2-1 win over Malawi on Tuesday.

Gabadinho Mhango gave outsiders Malawi, playing their first knock-out game at the tournament, a shock early lead with a stunning goal from 40 metres at Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium.

But Youssef En-Nesyri headed Morocco level in first-half stoppage time before Hakimi drilled in the winner on 70 minutes to set up a meeting with Egypt or Ivory Coast in the last eight.

When you win you get respect,” said Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

“Malawi scored a fantastic goal. I think we played really well in the first half, unfortunately we lacked efficiency. We had around 10 chances you can’t miss.

“But I was always confident. The team was upset but I knew at some point we would score a second goal. We controlled the match and we more than deserve to qualify.”

Morocco’s quarter-final tie was due to take place at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde but will be moved after a fatal crush outside the ground on Monday, which killed eight people and injured 38.

As with the earlier match between Senegal and Cape Verde in Bafoussam, a minute’s silence was observed before kick-off and players of both teams wore black armbands.

Morocco, bidding for a second Cup of Nations title and first since 1976, fell behind on seven minutes when Mhango caught Yassine Bounou off his line with a superb long-range strike.

The Atlas Lions responded by creating a series of chances as Imran Louza stung the palms of Charles Thomu, who then did well to keep out Hakimi’s powerful free-kick and the follow-up from Louza.

Mhango dragged wide for Malawi after a terrific long ball from Micium Mhone, but the Flames found themselves under sustained pressure as Morocco captain Romain Saiss volleyed against the bar.

En-Nesyri prodded weakly at Thomu from close range before the Malawi goalkeeper tipped Hakimi’s low drive on to the post and then denied Sofiane Boufal with his legs.

Morocco were finally rewarded for their persistence on the stroke of half-time as En-Nesyri rose to power Selim Amallah’s deep cross past Thomu.

Hakimi appealed for a penalty in the second half when his cross struck the arm of Malawi defender Dennis Chembezi, but the Paris Saint-Germain star took matters into his own hands to secure victory.

His late equaliser against Gabon had secured top spot in the group stage, and Hakimi delivered again with another magnificent free-kick 20 minutes from time to end Malawi’s impressive run.

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Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan on a five-year contract.

Rumours were making rounds last month that the Serie A champions would receive up to €70 million — bonuses included — for the Morocco international.

Sources now say that personal terms were agreed between PSG and Hakimi more than a month ago and that the full-back pushed for the move to happen.

“I feel a great sense of pride today,” Hakimi said. “After Spain, Germany and Italy, Paris Saint-Germain offers me the chance to discover a new championship with one of the most prestigious clubs in the world. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates, the fans and experience the incredible colour and passion inside the Parc des Princes.

“I share the same big ambitions as the coaching staff and my teammates and will do everything I can to deliver what is expected of me.”

PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: “This calibre of signing shows the level of our ambitions — we continue to build something very special. Achraf may only be 22 years old and has already established himself as one of the most talented full-backs in world football — these are the standards we set at the club. I know Achraf will have a fantastic career with us and the whole club wishes him every success in our colours.”

Champions League winners Chelsea were also interested in signing Hakimi this summer but reports show that they never made a concrete offer.

Hakimi’s departure will help Inter bring in needed money to help the club settle debts.

The defender played a key role in helping Inter claim their first league title in 11 years last season, contributing seven goals and 11 assists in Serie A.

Hakimi joined the Italian giants last summer from Real Madrid for €40m after two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund.

The defender will become the latest new recruit at PSG after they signed Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer, and they are also set to complete the signing of Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

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Paris Saint-Germain will be hopeful of pipping Chelsea in the race for Achraf Hakimi as they get ready to launch an improved bid worth £60million for his services, according to reports.

Chelsea and PSG have both been put on red alert this summer over Hakimi’s situation at Inter Milan, with the Serie A champions desperately needing cash to help resolve their financial crisis.

And now according to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Ligue 1 giants are set to table a £60m bid – which is what he is valued by Inter at – that includes add-ons to complete a move for Hakimi after having an initial £56m offer knocked back.
It has also been claimed that PSG have already reached personal terms with Hakimi, with the Moroccan agreeing a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes.

And PSG are said to now be ‘confident’ of getting the deal over the line for one of the most sought-after full backs in European football.

Former Real Madrid star Hakimi played a starring role as Inter claimed their first Serie A title since 2010.

Hakimi played 45 times in all competitions last season under former boss Antonio Conte, scoring seven goals and creating 11 assists as he provided a huge attacking threat for Inter down the flanks.

The 22-year-old right back can also play on the left side of defence too, as well as a winger, and would provide PSG with extra quality in their bid for Champions League glory.

The latest news will come as a huge blow to Chelsea, who have been in pursuit of Hakimi this summer.

The Blues have been in talks over a deal for Hakimi, and were planning to use Marcos Alonso as a sweetener to get their man.

Chelsea have shown interest in a £52m cash deal which would also include 30-year old Alonso.

The arrival of Hakimi at Chelsea would add competition to the right wing back spot, which is currently held by Reece James, as the European champions look to lead a Premier League title charge next term.

But Chelsea will now be hoping that Inter push back PSG in their latest move for Hakimi.