Morocco/South Africa, a victory to strengthen trust

After the crushing defeat conceded in a friendly against the United States of America (3-0), the Atlas Lions will begin this Thursday the qualifiers for the 2023 African Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire 2023, receiving the South Africa, with the stated objective of signing a new start and strengthening the confidence of the players.

This match, scheduled for the night (8:00 p.m.) at the Prince Moulay Abdellah sports complex in Rabat on behalf of the first day of group K, will serve as a full-scale test for the National Eleven, a few days after the unexpected defeat against the American selection. Coach Vahid will thus have the heavy task of filling the gaps reported during this friendly confrontation and signing a performance capable of restoring confidence to the players and the national public.

Besides Morocco and South Africa, this pool includes Liberia. Zimbabwe had been suspended by the Confederation of African Football.

Even if the South African selection, which arrived in Morocco last Sunday after a long journey which lasted 18 hours, has nothing to do with that of the early 2000s, the fact remains that the Bafana Bafana have players capable of create huge problems for the Moroccan defenders, led by the twirling striker of Al Ahly of Egypt, Percy Tau.

Coach Vahid is warned, the coach of South Africa, the German Hugo Broos has a plan to beat the Atlas Lions.

“Morocco is a good team, it is also a team that we know well, we know its players (…) we have a plan, we will see if it will work on the day of the match”Broos told reporters.

“We know what we have to do, but the most important thing is that we have to go there with confidence and in the right state of mind (…) if we go there with fear in our stomachs, better to stay at home”added the coach of Bafana Bafana, not qualified for the Qatari world.

The latest rout of the National Eleven against the United States has certainly sounded the alarm within the national team, but Halilhodzic seems to be aware of what is at stake in the match against the South Africans.

“We are all a little disappointed” after that loss to the United States,” Halilhodzich said, adding that“We have to learn from it, because it gives us indications”.

“We were less realistic, but I knew from the start that it would be difficult. Especially physically, we are not in top form.he said, dissecting the defeat of the Nationals against the USA.

Same story with Aymen Barkok, who felt that the first match against the United States was not at the level.

“We are working on it and doing our best to be in good shape against South Africa. We want to show a strong version of the selection”he had launched.

The national team will have to correct the situation on Thursday evening, especially since it has a full group and which will probably see the return of the right side Noussair Mazraoui, absent against the United States due to injury.

In their previous six encounters, Morocco had lost twice to South Africa, won once and drawn three times.

On the second day, Vahid Halilhodzic’s men will face the Liberian team on June 13 (8:00 p.m.) at the Mohammed V Sports Complex in Casablanca.

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