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World Cup 2022: ‘Morocco played like a European team' – Atlas Lions coach Regragui after Croatia draw

8:50 PM GMT+4 23/11/2022
Morocco's head coach Walid Regragui.
Morocco head coach Walid Regragui has said the Atlas Lions played like a European team against Croatia during their 0-0 draw on Wednesday.
  • Morocco avoided defeat in opener
  • Regragui happy with outcome
  • Hopeful Morocco will advance to knockout stage

WHAT HAPPENED? The Africans managed to collect a point against Croatia in their first World Cup game in Group F.

Regragui, who took over Morocco in September after coach Vahid Halilhodzic was dismissed, is pleased with the performance of his players after the goalless draw.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "Our goal was to live for another day as defeat in the first match ends your hopes in the competition," the former Wydad Casablanca coach said in his post-match reaction.

"We did our best, the goal was not to lose. I've only been here for two months, and I'm proud of the players. We wanted to achieve another result, but in the end, we are satisfied with the draw.

"We will wait for the outcome of the Belgium match, and then we will look to qualify for the last 16 against Canada.

"We played with balance like the European teams, we wanted to pose a threat to Croatia and get a good result, but the main objective was not to lose. We have to improve and develop a winning mentality.

"We feel that we are home, and I am happy to be in Qatar, and the Moroccan and Arab fans in the stands supported us and gave us strength when we felt tired."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The result should be motivation for the Atlas Lions as they look forward to their remaining group games.

They stood firm at the back and pushed Croatia to register an unwanted record in the tournament. The 2018 runners-up failed to score for the first time in 12 World Cup matches, since what was their only other goalless draw in the competition against Japan in 2006.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? They will face Belgium on November 27 before finishing the group assignments with a match against Canada on December 1.