Morocco beat Brazil on Saturday night in Tangier in a historic friendly match that tasted like a World Cup. For their first home game since the appointment of Walid Regragui, the Atlas Lions warmly thanked the Moroccan public.
It was in front of 65,000 Moroccans that the national team won a high-flying match that will go down in history. A match against the legendary Brazil team, the first team in the Fifa rankings which marked the talent and quality of the Moroccan team, semi-finalists of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of football legend Pelé followed by applause. The Moroccan public also responded to Walid Regragui’s call not to whistle the Brazilian national anthem.
“I’ve always said it, the guys want to go down in history,” said the national coach after the match. The national coach indicated that several players were injured, especially in the second period, in particular Azzedine Ounahi, Achraf Hakimi who was uncertain before the match but who insisted on playing. Sofyan Amrabat for his part was sick all week, explained the coach.
“We love this people and they love us. We will fight for them,” added the national team coach. For his part, the captain of the Atlas Lions, Ghanem Saïss warmly thanked the public. It was “magnificent to be able to celebrate our journey in the World Cup” at home in Tangier.
The captain of the national team added that tonight it was “the state of mind of this group (from Morocco) made the difference” against “a great team from Brazil”.
In a post-match press conference, Walid Regragui, indicated that in the first half, the players were at “very high level”, adding that in the second part of the game, the exit of Hakimi injured, unbalanced the ‘crew.
The Atlas Lions “didn’t give up” despite pressure from Brazil, said the coach, thanking the players and the public. “It’s amazing the love they give us,” he said. “We wanted to win in our country,” added the manager.
Despite this victory, the coach recalled the next match against Peru which must take place in Madrid. “We must not get carried away (…) we must recover quickly for the match against Peru”, he indicated, specifying that they will not have much time to recover and prepare.
Unlike that game in Tangier, the match against Peru will take place just 30 minutes after the break of fasting for the players. In addition, physical freshness will be a determining factor for this meeting.