Renard proud of Morocco despite Portugal loss

After Morocco’s 1-0 defeat against Portugal in Moscow, team coach Hervé Renard says he was proud and angry at the same time.

The Atlas Lions lost courtesy Cristiano Ronaldo’s fourth minute header for the Seleccao. The Africans controlled most parts of the encounter but failed to find  goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s net.

Speaking to reporters at the post match press conference, Renard said: “I’m very proud of the performance and I am very proud of my players, I’m very proud of this country.

“We qualified for a World Cup after 20 years and we’ve showed that we can play good football. For their goal, Pepe crashed into Khalid Boutaib who was guarding the front post and I think that should have been a foul.”

Renard further stressed that Morocco deserved a victory at the Luzhniki Stadium.

“In all, the lads deserved to win. We had five or six chances in the second half. We have quality players. Despite the ups and downs of the game, we should have been more effective.

“Because, like in the first game, we had plenty of chances. I won’t blame anyone because that’s football. It’s always those who know how to be present in the box, the most gifted players, who make the difference,” he added.

Renard referred to winger Nordin Amrabat, hailing his good performance and strong determination.

“He is a warrior. He wanted to play and the protector was not okay for him. It was a personal decision despite the risks.

“There are several reports on our medical team’s treatment of Nordin. But that’s not my job, we have the best medics to handle that,” the former Ivory Coast coach concluded.

Although Morocco’s adventure in the 2018 Russia World Cup has reached an end after tod game, Hervé Renard stressed that the Atlas Lions will put on the same performance as today to go down with honors.

Their last fixture will be against Spain at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Monday June 25.

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