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Moroccan international Aboukhlal’s frustration erupts as Toulouse falls to Montpellier

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Zakaria Aboukhlal faced a challenging evening as his Toulouse FC squad suffered a 1-2 defeat at home against Montpellier on Friday, marking the 32nd day of Ligue 1. The Moroccan winger, denied two goals during the match, found himself substituted at the hour mark, a decision that visibly irked him.

Aboukhlal’s frustration became evident as he was replaced by Gabonese international Shavy Babicka in the 62nd minute.

The 24-year-old winger displayed his discontent towards Toulouse’s coach, Carles Martinez Novell, by raising his arms in protest before striking the bench in apparent dissatisfaction.

Despite his reaction, Martinez Novell remained composed, offering no response to Aboukhlal’s gesture.

Adding to his disappointment, the Moroccan player faced jeers from his own supporters, making it an evening to forget for him.

With Toulouse not facing any imminent threat of relegation and far from contention for European qualification, the remainder of the season holds little significance for Aboukhlal and his team.

Their upcoming fixtures include an away match against champions Paris Saint-Germain followed by a home game against Brest, currently third in the league, on the final day.

For Aboukhlal, this season has been marred by challenges, notably due to injury setbacks. After recovering from cruciate ligament injuries, he made his return to action only in mid-February.

Despite his limited appearances, Aboukhlal managed to score three goals in 12 Ligue 1 matches, an achievement that reflects his resilience following his injury ordeal.

However, it pales in comparison to his impressive record of 10 goals and 5 assists in 37 league appearances last season.

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As the season draws to a close, Aboukhlal will be eager to make a significant impact in the remaining matches, hoping to catch the eye of national team selectors ahead of the upcoming international fixtures against Zambia and Congo in the ongoing 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

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