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Morocco 'have achieved nothing' - Atlas Lions coach Regragui after stunning Belgium

17:48 GMT 27/11/2022
Morocco coach Walid Regragui  at 2022 World Cup
Morocco coach Walid Regragui has told his players not to get carried away by their victory over Belgium in their second World Cup game on Sunday.
  • Regragui urges his players to remain humble
  • Morocco coach wants squad fully focused on Canada
  • Atlas Lions beat Red Devils to stay in contention for last 16

WHAT HAPPENED? Morocco contained Belgium, ranked second in the world, before two second-half goals from substitutes Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal saw them romp to the well-deserved victory. However, Regragui wants them to keep their feet on the ground ahead of their final group match against Canada.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "Today we have achieved nothing," Regragui said after the match. "I know everyone is delighted but I know football and you need to respect the game. I want everybody to be happy now but we need to recover quickly and get back to work. Canada will be a hard team to play and we have to respect them.

"We have to keep fighting, we want to get past this round and go to the next level. We played against one of the best teams in the world with big players, but we know that if you don’t give 100 per cent, it is impossible to win. With these players and these fans, anything is possible.

"We were humble enough in the first half to defend and know they will have most of the possession. We put in a lot of effort and came out in the second half to play a bit more.

"I said to the players we were going to have to put in maximum effort to get the ball off them. We wanted to stop them finding [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard. Sometimes you have to be patient and wait for your chance to come."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The win left Morocco on four points in Group F after holding Croatia to a goalless draw and they now have their destiny in their own hands heading into their match with Canada.

It was Morocco's third win at the World Cup, with Qatar being their sixth tournament after 1970, 1986, where they beat Portugal 3-1, 1994, 1998 (when they recorded a 3-0 triumph against Scotland), and 2018.

While Belgium hogged possession, Morocco were solid and ensured the Europeans did not get into areas where they could hurt them while utilising their chances when they got them.

WHAT'S NEXT? Regragui, who took over in September, will be hoping that Morocco records a positive result against Canada on Thursday to seal a ticket to the Round of 16. Irrespective of what happens in the other matches in the group, a draw against Canada will be enough for them to earn a spot in the knock-outs.