Morocco coach Walid Regragui was full of praise for his squad despite seeing them lose the World Cup third place play-off 2-1 to Croatia.
First half goals from Josko Gvardiol and MIslac Orsic condemned Morocco to defeat in a game where they suffered further injuries in defense, with Achraf Dari and Jawad El Yamiq joining players such as Romain Saiss and Aguerd on the sidelines, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We are disappointed. But when we wake up tomorrow, we will realise what we achieved. I want to congratulate my players. Maybe this was a game too far, but we gave a very positive image of our football,” said Regragui, who was asked about his side’s impact on African football after becoming the first team from the continent to reach the last-four.
“That’s why I say tomorrow we will realise what we have done. We have earned a lot of experience in a short period of time, we have played Croatia twice, beaten Belgium, Canada, Spain and Portugal.”
“We have shown that in Africa, we work hard and we have a great future, and we are progressing. We aim to win the World Cup one day, and we have learned a lot,” he said, admitting it will be tougher for his side in future tournaments.
“There will be more pressure on us, but there will be more African teams looking to emulate us. We have gone toe to toe with big teams and small details determine these matches,” Regragui commented.
“We have allowed children to dream. Children all around the world can now dream of playing football and going to the World Cup: that means a lot. Now we have to get our feet back on the ground, because we want to do that again.”
“There will be nine African teams in the next World Cup, and I am certain an African team will win the World Cup in the next 15 years,” he concluded.