Morocco head coach Walid Regragui has told his team they must beat Africa for a second time before they can beat the world. The World Cup 2022 semi-finalists on Saturday recorded a first win in their history against the team ranked number one in the world, Brazil. The Atlas Lions have not, however, lifted the Africa Cup of Nations title since 1976.
The Atlas Lions, who are the first African side to reach the last four of a World Cup, beat Brazil, themselves five time World Cup winners, 2-1 in a friendly on Saturday.
It came just a day after Morocco’s place in the 2023 Afcon was sealed without kicking a ball. A 2-2 draw between South Africa and Liberia meant neither country can catch Regragui’s team in Group K. Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri’s goals in Tangier earned Morocco the win over Brazil with Manchester United midfielder Casemiro pulling one back for the Selecao.
Now, with a place at the next Afcon assured, Regragui has told his players they must beat Africa first before beating the world. The Atlas Lions’ progress from Group K with six points was confirmed when Liberia came from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw against hosts South Africa.
Having record two wins against Liberia and South Africa so far, it meant that Morocco qualify from a group reduced to three sides after Zimbabwe were suspended by Fifa for government interference.