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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Morocco's Kharja praises teammates' performance

Morocco skipper says team must win all their games to qualify for 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Tarek Hefny, Monday 11 Jun 2012
Kharja
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Atlas Lions' captain Houcine Kharja hailed his teammates' performance despite their 2-2 home draw against Ivory Coast on Saturday in the second round of 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

"It was a tough match against a strong and experienced team," the 29-year-old player told Moroccan website Al-Botola.

"We came back twice from behind, showing how determined we were to come out of the game with a positive result. We have to work harder in order to find solutions to our defensive mistakes. We must win all our upcoming games in order to reach the finals," the Fiorentina midfielder added.

Coach Eric Gerets, for his part, highlighted his players' "mental strength," on which he hopes to build in future.

"I knew playing against Ivory Coast wouldn't be easy. I'm happy with my players who delivered a good game and produced some good football. The first half wasn't great, but good enough. My players never gave up, even when the Ivorian scored their second," the Belgian tactician said at a post-match press conference.

"[Ivory Coast coach] Lamouchi switched his tactical formation in the second half, and this confused us a little. I'm happy for Hamza Abourazzouk, who scored his first international goal," the 58-year-old added.

Morocco will play their third round of 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Tanzania in Dar Essalam in March 2013.

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