Must-win match for Morocco
DURBAN — Morocco forward Noureddine Amrabat is adamant all is not lost for his side, despite their stuttering start to the Africa Cup of Nations, and says there is plenty of belief they can still qualify for the next round.
The Atlas Lions face hosts South Africa in their final Group A match in Durban tomorrow in what is a must-win game if they want to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four attempts.
The 1976 champions kicked off their campaign with a goalless draw against Angola and followed that up with an unconvincing 1-1 result against debutants Cape Verde Islands.
In that game, it took a late Youssef El Arabi strike to salvage a point, leaving them hovering in third place in their pool and with the same number of points as the Cape Verdeans.
“It’s a straightforward situation,” Amrabat said.
“If we win the game against South Africa then we are in the next round. We will also be number one in the pool.
“It is a final and we have everything in our hands. It’s our job to take the three points and go to the next round.”
The Galatasaray player, who can also play on the wing, insisted that suggestions they underestimated minnows Cape Verde were false, saying their lack of aggression and some inefficient officiating by Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe were partly to blame for the result.
“We had seen the videos, we had analysed their good points and their weaknesses, but we didn’t start aggressive or really concen- trate,” he said.
“I also don’t like to talk bad about the referees but this referee, he thought we were playing indoor football or something.”
Rachid Taoussi’s team have taken plenty of flack back home for their sluggish start and Amrabat conceded it was their “last chance” to win back some faith from their fans. “We must show them what we have got,” he said. — Sapa.