Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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AFCON: Morocco Boss Takes Blame After Bafana Loss

Walid Regragui has reacted to Morocco’s AFCON exit following their defeat to Bafana Bafana,

Morocco manager Walid Regragui has reacted to his team’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations exit following their 2-0 defeat to Bafana Bafana on Tuesday night.

After the Atlas Lions became the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, many considered them favourites ahead of their round of 16 clash against South Africa. 

However, Tuesday night’s encounter at the Laurent Pokou Stadium turned out to be one to forget for Regragui as well as Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi, who missed a chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the 85th minute. 

Pirates’ Evidence Makgopa put Bafana ahead in the 57th minute before a red-card challenge on the edge of the box from Manchester United’s Sofyan Amrabat allowed Teboho Mokoena a shot on goal from the resulting free-kick late on. 

The midfielder’s effort curled past former Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and into the back of the net, with South Africa maintaining their record of having never lost an AFCON last-16 match. 

Speaking after the game, Regragui accepted responsibility and admitted his team looked rushed on the field. 

“We made many technical errors and lacked patience in the build-up play. We were in a lot of rush and had few opportunities,” he told beIN Sports.

“The match could have been decided in the first half, but at this level, every missed opportunity is immediately punished.

“We tried in the end and were awarded a penalty, but we missed it. It could have equalised the score and brought us back into the game, but the penalty miss hurt us a lot.

“Certainly, we did not do what was required, and we lacked some things. I take full responsibility.

“The players gave everything and executed the instructions, and we will learn from the unexpected failure. We came with great humility, but today we must accept that we failed in our mission.

“It’s a great disappointment for our fans who supported us in the tournament, and helped us a lot, and today, this failure is mine to bear as a coach.”

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