Maglia Roma Scudetto, Maglia Napoli
Morocco coach Walid Regragui said his team’s 2-0 semifinal loss to France at the World Cup doesn’t take away from everything they did to get there and showed they are not far from the top levels of world football.
The African side, which won their group then beat Spain and Portugal in the knockout rounds to set up the semi against the defending champions, had an injury crisis ahead of Wednesday’s decisive match, but Regragui said there was no room for excuses.
Theo Hernandez opened the scoring inside of five minutes for France, but Regragui’s rearranged team battled back strongly to put the holders under pressure until substitute Randal Kolo Muani’s 79th minute goal ended the contest.
Regragui said he changed his tactics defensively to try to deal with the speed of France’s wingers, and it largely paid off until Kylian Mbappe delivered a brilliant late run to set up the winner.
Morocco now face Croatia in the third-place playoff on Saturday, while France seek to repeat as World Cup champions as they take on Argentina in Sunday’s final.