Morocco leave Russia with ‘heads held high’: coach

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Kaliningrad (Russia), June 26 (IANS) Morocco coach Herve Renard said his players will depart the FIFA World Cup in Russia with their “heads held high” despite failing to advance beyond the group stage.

The African side secured their only point of the tournament with a 2-2 draw against Spain here on Monday. It followed 0-1 losses to Iran and Portugal, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Of course we wanted to win,” Renard told a news conference after Monday’s late night match.

“We’ve done everything we could today. It was a good experience for us. Portugal and Spain are the two best teams in the world but we presented our team at the World Cup very well. We’re leaving Russia with our heads held high.”

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Morocco looked like pulling off on upset when second-half substitute Yousseff En-Nesyri gave his team the lead with an 81st minute header.

But Iago Aspas, who was also introduced late, equalised in the second minute of stoppage time with a delicate flick that was originally ruled out for offside before the decision was overturned by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

“We learned that we can play at a very high level. You should be proud of all our players. This is something that I will always remember,” Renard added.

–IANS

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