Afcon 2019: Morocco winger Amrabat hopes to shrug off injury ahead of South Africa clash

The Turkish Super Lig title-winning midfielder is hoping to shrug off an ankle injury ahead of the Atlas Lions' clash with Bafana Bafana

Moroccan winger Nordin Amrabat has expressed his delight with their good start at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

The Atlas Lions recorded their second successive Group D victory when they edged out Ivory Coast 1-0 at the Al Salam Stadium on Friday evening.

Amrabat walked away with the Match of the Match award following his impressive display, having provided the assist as Youssef En-Nesyri scored the only goal of the game in the first-half.

The Al Nassr playmaker is pleased with the 1976 Afcon champions' start at the tournament, having already secured their place in the Round of 16 after collecting six points from two matches.

"As a team we played really good, but it was a tough game. Ivory Coast are a good team, we created a few really good chances, unfortunately we scored only one," Amrabat told the media.

"I think we deserve a penalty, we are happy with two games, two wins, six points, that is the most important [thing]. It’s not easy with the temperature, but six points, what more could you want?" 

Morocco head coach Herve Renard decided to replace Amrabat's Al Nassr team-mate Abderrazak Hamdallah in his 23-man squad prior to the start of the 2019 Afcon finals, after the striker picked up an injury.

Amrabat and Hamdallah had played an important role in helping Al Nassr clinch the 2018/19 Saudi Arabian Professional League title.

"I have a good connection with Hamdallah, but you see I play well with En Nesyri, unfortunately, he didn’t score a second goal," the 32-year-old player continued.

"But Hamdallah did a good job, he is a good guy, but he’s not here now so we want to focus on the players, who are here. We focus on the players, who are here, two games, six points."

The experienced player disclosed that he picked up an injury during Morocco's victory over Ivory Coast, but he hopes to be fit for their last group match against South Africa on Monday.

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"My ankle twisted a little bit, I put ice now and hopefully, it’s not really bad," the former Watford FC and Galatasaray player concluded.

Morocco will take on a confident South Africa side at the Al Salam Stadium with Bafana Bafana probably needing a victory in order to advance to the knockout phase, after their 1-0 win over Namibia 1-0 on Friday.