Set pieces made difference for Morocco, says Renard

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Jan 2017,
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Herve Renard
Morocco's French coach Herve Renard reacts during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Morocco and Togo in Oyem on January 20, 2017 (AFP)

Morocco coach Herve Renard said set pieces turned Friday's African Cup of Nations clash against Togo into his side's favour after they came from behind to record their first win in Gabon.

Nicknamed the Atlas Lions, Morocco roared back from a goal down to secure a 3-1 victory following an opening defeat by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Faycal Fajr whipped in two crosses from a corner and free kick to create two goals for Aziz Bouhaddouz and Romain Saiss before substitute Youssef En-nesyri added a late third.

"Our mentality was the same in the two games, but the difference against Togo is that we were able to execute superb set-pieces, thanks to Faycal Fajr," French coach Renard told the post-match news conference, according to Moroccan media.

"To be honest, we were technically better against DR Congo. I prefer our display in the first match."

Morocco are a point behind DR Congo and one ahead of the Ivory Coast, who they face in their final group game in Oyem next Tuesday. DR Congo and the Ivorians, the reigning champions, drew 2-2 earlier on Friday.

"We knew before the tournament began that our third match would be very important," Renard added.

"In 2015, when I was in charge of Ivory Coast, the third group match was also important after we drew the opening two games. We defeated Cameroon to advance."

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1