Morocco manager Walid Regragui has conceded that while his side weren’t good enough in their World Cup semi-final defeat to France, it should not detract from their achievements this tournament.
The Atlas Lions became the first African nation to reach the last four of a World Cup after eliminating two giants in Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages, while Regragui himself became the first African coach to go as far as the quarter-finals.
However, their dreams of reaching Sunday’s final were dashed by reigning champions France, who beat them 2-0 thanks to goals at either end of the night from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani.
Speaking to the media post-match, Regragui pointed to several injury disruptions as a reason to why Morocco weren’t at their best against France, but wanted people to remember the journey they embarked on to get to this late stage of the tournament.
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“We gave our maximum, that’s the most important thing,” he began. “We had a few injuries, we lost [Nayef] Aguerd in the warm-up, [Romain] Saiss, [Noussair] Mazraoui at half-time…but I have nothing to say, the slightest mistake is paid for in cash.
“We didn’t get into the game well, we were too wasteful technically in the first half, and the second goal killed us, but that doesn’t take away everything we did before.”
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