‘No room for errors against South Africa’: Morocco coach

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Jan 2024

Morocco coach Walid Regragui has refused to label his team as a top contender for the title, emphasizing the need to respect their round-of-16 opponent, South Africa.

Walid Regragui
Morocco s head coach Walid Regragui attends a press conference at the Laurent Pokou stadium in San-Pedro on January 29, 2024 on the eve of the round of 16 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 football match between Morocco and South Africa. AFP


The Atlas Lions are set to face South Africa on Tuesday at Laurant Pokou Stadium in Cote d'Ivoire.

Morocco topped Group F with seven points to secure their spot in the knockout stage, while South Africa finished second in Group E with four points.

Regragui addressed the press conference ahead of the match on Monday, highlighting the different nature of the knockout stage compared to the group stage. He stressed, "There is no room for errors in this crucial phase. We have great experience in the knockout phase due to our participation in the 2022 World Cup."

Acknowledging Morocco's history in the Africa Cup of Nations, Regragui acknowledged the difficulty they faced in previous attempts to win the title. He stated, "We are not the first contender for the title in this edition, but we will do our best to achieve it this time."

However, the coach emphasized the respect they have for their opponent, South Africa, and highlighted the need for the Atlas Lions to be prepared for a tough clash.

South Africa defeated Morocco 2-1 in the qualifiers last June, the only defeat in Morocco's 12 games since their impressive fourth-place finish in the 2022 World Cup.

Regragui added, "South Africa are a good team. "

"They are the only team that has managed to defeat us since our success in the World Cup."

"The game will be very tough. We respect them, but we have no fear. "

"We need to stay humble, and I believe we are on the right track."

Regarding Bayern Munich fullback Noussair Mazroaui Regragui said he is ready for the clash against South Africa, but he is unsure if the player will start.

Mazroaui has been sidelined due to injury since the start of the competition, and the coach faced criticism for including him in the squad despite his injury.

Additionally, the coach revealed that the availability of winger Hakim Ziyach remains uncertain, while forward Sofiane Boufal is unlikely to appear in the competition again due to a muscle injury unless a miracle occurs.

Check the AFCON matches

Check the AFCON stats

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: