Morocco head coach Reynald Pedros is on cloud nine following his side’s qualification for the coveted FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The French tactician led the Atlas Lionesses to the world showpiece courtesy of a 2-1 win over Botswana that in more ways than one showed the dynamic character of his side in the way that they managed to adapt to pressure throughout the game.
“I am happy with the way that the team played today. We achieved our goal to go to the World Cup. We scored and Botswana equalized but after we scored the second goal, they had no answer and then we created more scoring opportunities in search of a third goal. Eventually we did not get it, but we won the game. I am content,” Pedros said after the game.
“We have played against different opponents that play different styles and this means that we have to find solutions. We always prepare for this and today, that went well. We keep the rhythm and grow into the game and that helps us going forward.”
Morocco has established themselves as the set piece specialists at this tournament, adding a brace today thanks to Mssoudy Sanaa (3rd minute) and Yasmin Mrabet (59th minute) who netted from stunning free-kicks with supply from Fatima Tagnaout, whose game-reading is outstanding.
The two goals bring Morocco’s count of set piece goals to five out of their seven scored and Pedros is extremely elated by this development.
“We still have a lot of room to improve because we are not perfect. Now that we have achieved our goal to go to the World Cup, we are turning our focus on preparing for the semifinal in the best way that we can,” Pedros said.
“We gave something amazing to the fans today and we hope to do the same when they come out in the semifinals. We are very ambitious and when we see this number of fans who are encouraging the players in the way that they did, it helps to motivate and inspire the team.”
Morocco will face the winner between Nigeria and Cameroon in the first semifinal on Monday, July 18 at the Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat at 21h00 local time.