Four years ago, Morocco thought they had scored their first point before losing what still seemed like long extra time against Iran on own goals in ’90+5. That poor start, the Atlas Lions never caught up with him and finished last. in their group. This time, on the lawn of the Al-Bayt stadium, the wards of Valid Regraga left the stadium with their heads held high after defeating the Croatian vice-champions of the world (0:0). The game was not exclusive to neutral spectators. But numerous Moroccan fans remember the excess energy of their henchmen.
In the bowels of the stadium in the city of Al-Khor, the dark and closed faces of the Croats testified that everything had not gone as planned for them. “Frankly speaking, we should not assume that Morocco was a weak team,” admits defender Dejan Lovren. Look at the names of the clubs where the Moroccans play and you will understand everything. »
However, they were relieved. Like Selim Amallah, Standard de Liege midfielder. “The whole team played a good game. Not much to win. We will have to look for opponents much higher in order to score and be effective. There was no one ahead. This score is well deserved. This is valuable and allows us to participate well in competitions. »
“We all wanted to win, but let’s not be picky”
Sofiane Boufal, who has a hard time with her club Angers in Ligue 1, was also delighted. “We all wanted to win, but let’s not be picky,” he smiles. Inch’Allah, this point will count for the others. We were preparing for a difficult match. For many it was the first World Cup. There was anxiety and pressure. And it’s hard for Croatia because this team loves to have the ball. But Boufal sees further: “Now we will have to show more offensive things against Belgium. This moment will give us confidence. »
Romain Saiss, Besiktas defender, also wants to believe in a better fortune than he did four years ago. “There was a really big team up ahead and we were able to cut the space in midfield,” deciphers the ex-Havre. Now we need to be more ambitious in getting the ball back. At the same time, we put so much effort into this that it burdened our clarity of consciousness. This is something to work on. We know how important the first match at the World Cup is. The goal is to get past the first round. Now you need to recover physically after these huge efforts. »
Source: Le Parisien
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