Qatar 2022: Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez Speaks Following Loss to African Side Morocco

Qatar 2022: Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez Speaks Following Loss to African Side Morocco

  • Belgium lost 2-0 to Morocco in one of the major upsets at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • Coach Roberto Martinez said his players faced the North Africans with 'the fear of losing'
  • The Red Devils now face a huge challenge and must beat Croatia in their last group game

The head coach of the Belgian national team, Roberto Martinez has admitted that his side faced Morocco with a fear of losing.

A 73rd-minute goal by Abdelhamid Sabiri and a close-range finish from Zakaria Aboukhlal in stoppage time earned the Atlas Lions their first World Cup victory since 1998 in France.

Roberto Martinez, Belgium, Morocco, World Cup, Qatar
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez was not impressed with his team following their loss to Morocco. Photo: ProShots.
Source: Getty Images

The crucial 2-0 victory took Morocco to four points, as they head into their final group game against the already eliminated Canada.

On the other hand, it could be a herculean task for Belgium, as they face a desperate Croatian side that thrashed Canada 4-1.

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In his reaction, Martinez disclosed that although his side played better against the North Africans, the players were jittery.

He said via Complete Sports:

“That is a mindset; I don’t think it is a lack of quality. We played a lot better on the ball than we did against Canada and got into really beneficial positions, but then that next pass was missing, that link-up was missing in the final third."

Martinez explained that he felt the team played with a fear of losing, despite being a side for which for the past six years has always found opportunities to score.

"We had scored goals in almost 50 consecutive games, but here we failed to find the back of the net and it cost us."

The coach added that the players worked hard to build their team camaraderie, but he did not see their spirit reflected on the pitch.

Martinez said the team needed to 'be itself' and it was an area that needed to be worked on.

Thibaut Courtois smashes glass

Meanwhile, Sports Brief earlier reported that Thibaut Courtois had a bad day between the sticks for Belgium, as Morocco stunned the Red Devils in their second group game on November 27.

Courtois pulled off a goalkeeping masterclass in Belgium's opening-day win against Canada, but was largely at fault for their surprise loss to the Atlas Lions.

After the game concluded, the 30-year-old shot-stopper was visibly angry with his performance, which led to a show of anger while exiting the pitch.

Source: Sports Brief News