'We can do anything', says Morocco's Regragui after Belgium win

Morocco coach Walid Regragui said his team "can do anything" at the World Cup after their surprise 2-0 victory over Belgium on Sunday.

AFP , Sunday 27 Nov 2022,
Regragui
Morocco s head coach Walid Regragui reacts during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. AP

The North Africans only need a point in their final Group F game against Canada on Thursday to reach the last 16 for the first time since 1986.

Late goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal at the Al Thumama Stadium secured Morocco their first World Cup win in 24 years.

"We know if you don't give 100 percent it's impossible to win," Regragui told a press conference.

"But with these fans, with these players and this spirit we can do anything.

"The competition is not over, we have to recover quickly for the game against Canada. Hopefully we can get a good result for the qualification."

All five African teams were dumped out in the group stage in Russia four years ago but Morocco joined Senegal in winning their second match in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions sit top of the group, having also held 2018 runners-up Croatia to a goalless draw.

"We can still be better," said Regragui, who only took over as coach from the sacked Vahid Halilhodzic in August.

"I'm not happy with four points, I want more than that. I want to qualify.

"Of course it will be tougher if we get to the knockout stage but that's the level I want to get to.

"We've matched two of the best teams in the world."

The game started in bizarre fashion for Morocco, with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou asking to be withdrawn from the team after the national anthems.

Regragui said the Sevilla stopper had suffered an injury towards the end of Croatia game and felt something in the warm-up.

Munir El Kajoui took his place and made some crucial saves to keep a clean sheet.

"Munir did a great job. I have great players. They listen to the instructions and they fight with all of their heart," added Regragui.

"Keep focused, keep positive and we will get great results."

Morocco were roared on by the vast majority of the crowd in Doha.

"The Moroccan public is incredible. It is a people who love football," said midfielder Selim Amallah, who was born in Belgium and plays his club football for Standard Liege.

"This is also why we play hard. We play for our nation, we play for the Moroccan people and we hope to make them proud.

"In the second half, we got the better of this Belgian team. We showed that we could play football too."

 

Check the 2022 World Cup schedule and groups standings.

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