Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Nordin Amrabat © Backpagepix

Moroccans optimistic ahead of Bafana tie



Morocco forward Nordin Amrabat is adamant all is not lost for his side, despite their stuttering start to the Africa Cup of Nations, and says there is plenty of belief they can still qualify for the next round.

The Atlas Lions face hosts South Africa in their final Group A match in Durban on Sunday in what is a must-win game if they want to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in four attempts.

The 1976 champions kicked off their campaign with a goalless draw against Angola and followed that up with an unconvincing 1-1 result against debutants Cape Verde Islands.

In that game, it took a late Youssef El Arabi strike to salvage a point, leaving them hovering in third place in their pool and with the same number of points as the Cape Verdeans.

“It's a straightforward situation,” Amrabat said.

“If we win the game against South Africa then we are in the next round. We will also be No 1 in the pool.

"It is a final and we have everything in our hands. It's our job to take the three points and go to the next round.”

The Galatasaray player, who can also play on the wing, insisted that suggestions they underestimated minnows Cape Verde were false, saying their lack of aggression and some inefficient officiating by Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe were partly to blame for the result.

“We had seen the videos, we had analysed their good points and their weaknesses, but we didn't start aggressive or really concentrate," he said.

“I also don't like to talk bad about the referees but this referee, he thought we were playing indoor football or something."

“He blew the whistle for every touch and that was too much, but at the end of the day we have two points and everything is in our hands.”

Rachid Taoussi's team have taken plenty of flack back home for their sluggish start to the finals and Amrabat conceded it was their “last chance” to win back some faith from their fans.

“We must show them what we have got,” he said.

He did not believe that playing in front of a capacity Moses Mabhida Stadium crowd, which played a key role in lifting the home side past Angola earlier in the week, would be daunting.

“We have experienced players and to play in front of 50 000 or 60 000 people is not new to us,” Amrabat said.

“The South African fans are good people, they are not negative and they will do everything to support their team.

“We know we will be playing in a good atmosphere, but we'll be playing only to win.”

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



John Dykes
No gifts for Chelsea this year
For once Jose Mourinho wasn’t kidding when he said the odds are stacked against Chelsea.

Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...