Morocco Coach Walid Regragui Reacts To The 2-1 Win Against Brazil In The Holy Month Of Ramaḍan.

Morocco continues to prove that their World Cup form wasn't a fluke, as they delivered a statement win against five-time world champions Brazil in a friendly game early on Sunday morning.

The Atlas Lions recently enjoyed their best-ever World Cup outing in Qatar 2022, by becoming the first African country and Arabian nation to play in a World Cup semi-final, defeating football giants such as Belgium, Spain, and Portugal in the process. 

All of those sides are currently in the top 10 of FIFA's world ranking, but they were beaten 2-0 by the then reigning and two-time champions France in the semi-finals, and lost the third match to Croatia, finishing the tournament fourth.

They continued that historic run in their first game since the outstanding World Cup campaign, by making another history as they get their first-ever win over Brazil after defeating them 2-1. 

The South American team are currently ranked by FIFA as the best national team in the world.

Coming into the game, Moroccan fans turned up in great numbers again and passionately cheered on the team. 65,000 fans were in attendance at the sold-out Ibn Batouta Grand Stadium in Tangier.

The North African giants tried to make a quick start in the ill-tempered encounter, with the Brazilian players complaining bitterly to the referee after a series of bad tackles.

Brazil were more aggressive and controlled possession while Morocco were always dangerous on the counter-attack.

Sofiane Boufal finally opened scoring in the 29th minute with a well taken right-footed shot inside the box.

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech missed two great chances to double the lead for Morocco before the break and goalkeeper Bounou denied a Rodrygo strike from the edge of the area with an acrobatic save.

In the second half, Manchester United in-form midfielder Casemiro celebrated his appointment as captain of Brazil in style as he equalised in the 67th minute.

However, substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri scored the winning goal for the host 12 minutes later after taking down a lost ball inside the Brazilian box and unleashed an unstoppable strike that bounced off the crossbar into the net.

Following the defeat Brazilian coach Ramon Menezes further described Morocco as a “very strong” team.

Both countries had met only twice in previous encounters, and Brazil defeated Morocco 2-0 in an international friendly in 1997 before following it up with a 3-0 win at the 1998 World Cup.

Morocco head coach, Walid Regragui revealed that his players showed their mentality to hang on during the encounter.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Regragui said, "We wanted to win after the World Cup and that's what happened. We're happy because it's the first time that Morocco has beaten Brazil in history. They are the first in the FIFA rankings.

"Despite some of their players not being here, Brazil is still a very high-level team. We also have injuries but we showed our mentality to hang on.

"This is the month of Ramadan, we have to go and pray Tarawih to confirm if it's true or not. Now we are going to celebrate but it's a long way to go.

"We must not get on fire. When I say we must win the African Cup, they say that I am exaggerating. I must be careful when I say that we are not going to play for the win but we only play for happiness.

"We have to recover very quickly because we have another match against Peru in two days. We have to move on. I will see if I am giving other players some minutes who deserve to play.

"We have to think about the FIFA rankings. We must keep the team at the same level but let's see."

Morocco have now arrived in Madrid on Sunday, ahead of their friendly game on Tuesday against Peru.

The Atlas Lions will play their Peruvian counterparts in the Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on March 28, with hopes of continuing their good run.

Morocco is currently ranked the 11th team in the FIFA ranking, while Peru occupies the 21st place.

The two teams have only faced each other once in the 1970 World Cup, where Peru defeated Morocco 3-0.


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