WORLD CUP 2022: MOURINHO HAILS QUNAHI AS ATLAS LIONS FACE FRANCE IN SEMI FINAL
Africa’s representative at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar Morocco will battle former World Cup Champion in the semi- final after shockingly knocked out Portugal at the quarter final on Saturday.
The Moroccans, who have sent many Africans celebrating after defeating Christiano Ronaldo’s Portugal with an incredible achievement as the first African country to qualify for the semi-final, will fly Africa’s flag when they meet their next opponent France Wednesday.
Morocco en route to the semi- final had gone not conceding a goal except an own goal as the perceived underdog going into the match. But defender Achraft Hakimi, who has been impressive at the tournament appears confident the Atlas Lions could come out victorious in the match, according to reports of him sending messages to Kylian Mbappe, his club teammate at PSG.
While Morocco are looking forward to continuing their historic run at the World Cup, other semifinalists Argentina and Croatia will do battle on Tuesday. The Croatians will attempt to reach its second World Cup final, while Argentina has been a past winner, especially the 1986 World Cup with late captain Diego Maradona lifting the World Cup after the ‘Hand of God’ goal against England and phenomenal performance in the final.
The Moroccans having surpassed expectations in Qatar with global applauds for their performance will continue the battling spirit despite suffering injuries to some key players. Coach Walid Regragui who has lauded his players for the historic performance is confident the Africa country can write another history for the continent.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea and current AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho has hailed Morocco’s tactics and fighting spirit at the 2022 World Cup, especially ‘special praise’ to midfielder Azzedine Qunahi after Atlas Lions defeated his home country Portugal 1-0 to advance to the semi- final.
“The coach organised the team very well, starting with 4-3-3. He was able to change during the game to 5-4-1.
“He saw the danger, he saw Portugal accumulating lots of players in finishing areas and he found a way to control the game.
“They have players, a coach and incredible spirit.” Mourinho said.
Meanwhile, the defeat of Fernando Santos side in the quarter final despite the introduction of Christiano Ronaldo in 51 minute with Goncalo Ramos who netted a hat trick against Switzerland en route to the last 16 unable to find the back of the net. Morocco will require the save hand of their goalkeeper Bono who saved Joao Felix and Ronaldo’s effort while Pepe missed a sitter at the twilight of the stoppage time.
They will also dream of their strikers, expectedly convert their chances to goal to cap up before the final. Having had shock runs in the last four defeating Belgium, Spain and Portugal. An obvious intention: the Atlas Lions are ready for the blockbuster semi -final against France, while looking forward to meeting the winner between Argentina and Croatia in the final.