Morocco coach Waild Regragui has admitted that his team is not 100 percent as they cruised into the quarter final of the World Cup, but it has been an amazing run surviving Croatia, Belgium and Spain. The Atlas Lions, the only African side still in the tournament, beat Spain on penalties to reach the last eight to set up a date with Portugal on Saturday. Speaking on his team’s performance so far in the tournament, Regragui said: “Since the start of the competition, we’ve been playing with a team that’s not 100 percent, that’s why it’s even more extraordinary. “We’ve managed to create a family, and we feel that we have people behind us. “If you had told me before starting that we would face Croatia, Belgium and Spain without losing a match, I wouldn’t have signed for it.” “Big congratulations to the players, they did something extraordinary, in the frenzy of energy, in the desire not to let go of this match,” he said.
Spain dominated possession during the match but Morocco’s staunch defence largely kept them at bay and limited clear-cut chances. “We had agreed not to take possession — not out of fear,” Regragui said. “We are humble enough to say that we are not yet France, Germany or England, to compete with them in terms of possession. “Nobody managed to steal the ball from them, so I accepted not having the ball. I’m not a magician.” Regragui said the team worked for four days on their gameplan to reduce the impact of midfield trio Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Gavi. “Having closed so many passing lines for 120 minutes, we knew we would have chances — we had two, three, four,” he said. “We did not know how to punish them. The game plan was respected, we got to penalties, and then it’s a lottery. “But when you have such a (great) goalkeeper in goal, you know you have a better chance of succeeding.”
Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou denied Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets from the penalty spot, while Pablo Sarabia hit the post as Spain failed to score any of their three penalties. Morocco topped their group, beating Belgium and Canada, while drawing with Croatia. They have only conceded one goal in their four matches.

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