Afcon 2019: Morocco didn't start the tournament well - Renard

Herve Renard Morocco
The Atlas Lions boss reflects on the group stage and looks ahead to Friday's encounter with The Squirrels at the continental gathering

Morocco coach Herve Renard has stated his outfit are leaving no stone unturned to avoid any shock when they face Benin in the Round of 16 at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

The 1976 champions are set to face The Squirrels at Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo in the first match of the knockout stage, the latter having progressed from the group for the first time in their history.

With three draws to progress to the Round of 16, the west Africans, who are playing at Afcon for the fourth time, are interestingly still chasing their first victory in Afcon history.

"We're only in the Last 16," Renard, whose side finished top of Group D after winning all three matches, said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.

"We're concentrating on our match we have to play tomorrow, ensuring there are no nasty surprises.

"We're just being ourselves and hoping we can move on to the quarter-finals which will be an even harder match.

“I don’t think we started the tournament well. From a team perspective, we weren’t good at all and I’m not happy.

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“Benin have a strong defence, all players do their job and I know their manager is doing a great job.”

Renard has an enviable record at Afcon as he has lost only three of his 26 games at the tournament.

He was previously in charge of Zambia and Cote d'Ivoire, both of whom he led to continental glory in 2012 and 2015 respectively.