World Cup 2022: Ghana are you listening? Morocco’s Regragui issues clarion call ahead of Black Stars-Brazil duel

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Walid Regragui Morocco.
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After Morocco topped their group and progressed to the Round of 16, coach Walid Regragui has issued a clarion call ahead of Ghana's decisive game.
  • Regragui calls for African teams to set ambition
  • Atlas Lions to face Spain in next phase
  • Ghana to play Brazil in do-or-die game

WHAT HAPPENED? The Atlas Lions – after beating Canada on Thursday - ended 36 years of World Cup setbacks by progressing to the knockout stage.

While setting his ambition of winning the trophy, Regragui has asked fellow African teams to set the same objective.

Ghana and Cameroon are the other teams that stand a chance of making progress into the knockout stage. The Black Stars are up against Uruguay, while the Indomitable Lions will play Brazil.

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WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "We set ourselves an objective to give everything we have and get out of the group stages," Regragui stated.

"After that, why not? Aim for the sky. We need to change our mentality, and we will be a difficult team to beat.

"Why not dream about winning that trophy? As African teams, we need to set this objective."

AND WHAT IS MORE: As Regragui remains optimistic about a World Cup triumph, Achraf Hakimi – the man of the match from the Canada game – has set his sights on achieving big with the Atlas Lions.

"I never dreamed of achieving something for my country. Playing with Morocco is something amazing," said the PSG full-back, who was doubtful because of an injury but nevertheless played and provided an assist for the second goal.

"To do something big for your country is better than with the club. I am here to help all the Moroccan people.

"When I was young I saw the last generation that came to the World Cup and I dreamed to be like them.

"For that, I cry because I saw my family and those around me. We want to help the team; you never know when we can do it again. We are happy and need to enjoy the moment."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Morocco came out of the group stage without losing a single match. After an opening draw against Croatia, they went on to beat Belgium before seeing off Canada.

After a goalless draw with Belgium, Croatia – the 2018 finalists in Russia – progressed as the former exited.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? The North Africans – who are making their sixth appearance at the World Cup - will face Spain in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.