African Soccer 30.1.2017 01:22 pm

Renard proud of Morocco in defeat

Renard proud of Morocco in defeat

Morocco coach Herve Renard said his team had been “exceptional” at the Africa Cup of Nations despite exiting the competition in the quarter-finals to Egypt on Sunday.

In their first appearance in the knockout phase of the tournament since 2004, Morocco lost 1-0 in Port-Gentil after conceding the decisive goal with just two minutes left.

“We lost the game but we have built a team that has recovered its hunger to win,” said Frenchman Renard, whose side eliminated reigning champions the Ivory Coast in the group stage.

“I am proud of all the players. One by one, honestly they were exceptional.

“We must not have regrets. We must just be proud of what we have done because we have come a long way.”

The coach of the triumphant Zambia side in 2012 and of Ivory Coast when they won in 2015, Renard was looking to become the first coach to win the title three times with three different countries.

But despite the disappointment he preferred to congratulate Egypt on their run to the last four.

“They are a very, very strong team who on a difficult pitch managed to play football, so when they find themselves on a better pitch it will be difficult to beat them,” he said.

“We can say today that Egypt are back. They were more mature than us. We had some chances but didn’t score.

“My only regret is that we couldn’t get a win for all those who have worked with the team here and for all the Moroccan people not being able to continue this adventure is a shame.”

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