Must-win match for Morocco

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

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.

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