The Moroccan U23 coach, Issame Charaï, said he was “proud” of the discipline and concentration shown by his players during the African Cup of Nations they won on Saturday in Rabat, beating Egypt (2-1 after extra time).
“I am enormously proud. Five games and as many wins, it was not easy. We spent a month together, during which I asked the players daily for work, discipline and concentration and they did it. he rejoiced during the post-match conference.
In this sense, he expressed the wish that “It will be the start to show the players that we are capable of performing. We have the talents, but we have to believe in it”.
“We prepared the players well mentally to control their emotions during the game, which they did well despite their young age,” he confided.
Regarding the match, Issame Charaï indicated that he expected a good tussle against a good Egyptian team.
“We knew that the Egyptian team was tough. She is the defending champion and she has not conceded a goal in this edition. With ten players, we knew it would be difficult for them, but that they are strong on the counter-attacks.”he pointed out.
And to add: “We had already played 120 minutes in the semi-finals and some players had physical problems. So I didn’t want to take a lot of risks and field all the strong players offensively. It was smarter to keep building, infiltrating the flanks, looking for strong players in the lead. Set plays were also a possible solution”.
Regarding the composition of the defense of the national team, made up of players under the age of 19, Charaï said that this is a ” investment “.
“We counted on young people who are the next generation, especially in defence. It was not an adventure, but an investment and it is by going through these stages that these young people will perfect themselves”, explained the technician.
Asked about his goals at the Olympics, he replied: “We are the champions of Africa and we must be ambitious, but we will go step by step”.
For his part, Egypt coach Rogerio Micale said that “It was a great match, we dominated the start of the game and we scored a goal. We then had to put in more effort after one of our players was sent off. With ten elements, we still created the danger”.
The Egyptians opened the scoring in the 10th minute thanks to Mahmoud Saber (10th), before Yanis Begraoui equalized in the 37th minute. During extra time, Oussama Targhaline scored the winning goal for the Moroccans (105+3rd).
Morocco and Egypt have validated their tickets for the next Olympic Games (Paris-2024), after their victory in the semi-finals, respectively against Mali and Guinea.
Third place in this edition went to the Malian selection after their victory on penalties by 4 to 3 (0-0), against their Guinean counterpart, Friday at the Grand Stade de Tanger, in a classification match. Mali wins the 3rd and last ticket for the Paris Olympics.