Morocco proved their shock progression into the Semi-Finals was no chance as they went head-to-head with the reigning champions on Wednesday.
The Atlas Lions pushed forward throughout the match against France and had a strong penalty claim turned down before France secured a 2-0 victory in the closing stages.
While they couldn’t keep up with Les Bleus, Morocco had already made history by beating Belgium, Spain, and Portugal on their way to the last four in Qatar, and becoming the first-ever African semi-finalists.
Regargui praises his team
Morocco’s coach Walid Regragui had only praise for his team’s effort following their defeat, saying that the most important thing was that “We gave our all.”
“The boys fought until the last minute… We wanted to win the game, but we came up against a strong team that knows what it is doing and waits for you to make a mistake – which we made at the beginning of the game,” he said, referring to Theo Hernandez’s fifth-minute opener.
Morocco coach Walid Regragui insists he had no regrets after his decision to name captain Romain Saiss and Nayef Aguerd in his starting line-up for their World Cup semi-final loss to France.
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) December 14, 2022
The 47-year-old coach had to deal with several players struggling with fitness issues; Centre-back Nayef Aguerd withdrew after the warm-up, and Romain Saiss (doubtful) started but had to go off after only 21 minutes.
“We lost a lot of players who did their best, (Noussair) Mazraoui was ill but he played. Saiss too. I have nothing to say when the players give their maximum,” Regragui said.
Regragui continued that his team has “given a good image” of Moroccan and African football, placing them on a global stage.
“The whole world is proud of this Moroccan team. We showed desire, played hard, and have given a good image of Morocco and of African football.”
France’s poster boy Kylian Mbappé certainly stands by Regragui’s statement:
Regragui supporting France
Regragui also claimed that he will now be cheering on France as they take on Argentina in Sunday’s Final.
Lionel Messi will face off against club-mate Mbappe at the forefront as South America and Europe go to war.